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Catechism – Meditation – 2708

March 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Catechism, Dan Burke, Meditation, Prayer, Prayer

Meditation — Catechism Paragraph 2708

John of the Cross 4


Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him.


“A catechism should faithfully and systematically present the teaching of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition of the Church and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers and the Church's saints, to allow for a better knowledge of the Christian mystery and for enlivening the faith of the People of God. It should take into account the doctrinal statements which down the centuries the Holy Spirit has intimated to his Church. It should also help illumine with the light of faith the new situations and problems which had not yet emerged in the past…the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the one hand repeats the old, traditional order already followed by the Catechism of St Pius V, arranging the material in four parts: the Creed, the Sacred Liturgy, with pride of place given to the sacraments, the Christian way of life, explained beginning with the Ten Commandments, and finally, Christian prayer. At the same time, however, the contents are often expressed in a new way in order to respond to the questions of our age. ”  (Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum on the Publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church Prepared following the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 11 October 1992)

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • judeen

    I dont meditate enough… meditation includes the whole body. mind body and soul.. bussiness keeps us from it, excuses… yet in meditation one can acheive union with God… so why do we stuggle so with it… are we not worthy of it.. scared of it… yet it is so deep and wonderful.. or are we just in a rut, and need to think deeper ….

    • Lately I feel like I am in a rut…I try to do lectio divina of daily readings in the morning…but I feel like I am just forcing it…nothing seems to strike me…I don’t know what to reflect on exactly…It’s like my brain can’t function…

      • ThirstforTruth

        Don’t give up Maria. Persevere and pursue…using
        appealing verses from the Bible or other works of spiritual reflection. When a phrase or word stikes you or speaks out to you, stay with it and keep repeating it as you go about your day. Perservere, pursue and pray to your Guardian Angel to prompt within your spirit an awareness, an awakening.

        • Thank you for you advice and encouragement! I do pray to the Holy Spirit but sometimes He still seems absent. I’ll try to follow your advice and read it little by little. Thank you!

        • Thank you for you advice and encouragement!

      • Elizabeth Pringle

        Maria, bless your heart, it can be such a struggle. Baptism in the Holy Spirit will burst scriptures wide open to you. Meanwhile, since the Holy Spirit inspired the written Word, always ask him to enlighten you as to what he wants to say to you through the word you are studying. It can help to read each word singly and stop and think about that word and what it means to you. For example: “I believe..”, stop there and ask yourself, do I, do I believe? What do I believe? etc.Trying to memorise little verses can help too. Holy Spirit, please help Maria! Thank you.

        • Thank you for you advice and encouragement! I do pray to the Holy Spirit but sometimes He still seems absent. I’ll try to follow your advice and read it little by little. Thank you!

  • A Catholic guest

    Meditation on God, is one of the most intimate, beautiful mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Our Lady says pray the Rosary everyday. 

    I challenge you, to learn the prayers and mysteries properly, and to pray EVERYDAY. 

    God never grows tired of you; don’t grow tired of HIM!

    PS: You don’t have to be a Catholic to pray the Rosary.

    Post this on Catholic websites, so that people can be reminded to pray the Holy Rosary everyday, as requested by Our Lady. 

    I hope you will do Our Lady’s will.

  • Married32years

    I have always wondered what the difference is between meditation and contemplation .If
    “…Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire…” then how would one differentiate between the two?
    We always hear about meditating on say, the mysteries of the rosary, but we also hear about different saints being contemplatives. I have never understood the difference and thought that I would ask. I apologize in advance for my lack of knowledge

  • Dorothy

    It goes against our fallen nature to get into meditation. We have to apply ourselves and not depend on feelings to begin. It is good to set aside a time each day for meditative prayer, and stay with it. In time a habit will have been formed and you will want to keep doing it.

  • Lljl92

    I meditate in front of our Blessed Lord at our 24 hour Euchristic Chapel. You would be very surprised how that 60 minutes you give back to God changes your life.

  • Penguintrble

    To enjoy meditative prayer is such a surprise, the peace you are able to carry with you, if practiced daily will sustain you, uplift you and lead to growth.

  • Avila Power

    Lovely to read all the different ways others experience meditation and or contemplation. I dont think there is one specific way for anyone. Each person is so different, different thougths different ideas etc. I try to meditate every day, and I find each day different. I think the most important aspect is to Be still in the presence of the Lord and just let oneself BE. Sometimes one leaves the meditation feeling fulfilled other times just nothing….but thats OK , as long as one intends with all ones heart to give those precious monents to Our Lord. He will work the “miracle” in ones life and one will find that gradually one is being drawn more and ever more closely to HIM. Good luck and God bless you all in the constant aim to BE

  • Rustyrusticator

    I’m blessed to be working downtown near a church where there is daily Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, which ends about an hour after my quitting time and is followed immediately thereafter by Mass.  Over the past year or so I’ve made it my business to get there to meditate in front of the Real Presence of Jesus, at least a few times during the week. 

     My prayer routine varies day by day, but all I can really say is this:  I treasure those times spent with the Lord, even if “nothing” seems to be going on.  Sometimes I do lectio divina, sometimes vocal/mental prayer, sometimes I just pour my heart out to Him, and sometimes I just kneel there and listen.  I’ve come to rely on these times, they are truly the high points of my week, and if I can’t make it there because of some pressing commitment that can’t wait until after Mass, I feel downright cheated!

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