SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

The Pain of Meditation

What does Peter of Alcántara have to say about the pain of meditation? Find out in today's excerpt and reflection from Finding God Through Meditation.

Meditation Can Hurt - SD Finding God through Meditation - SpiritualDirection.com

Of Meditation

After reading follows meditation, which is sometimes of such things as can be represented to our imagination: as the life and Passion of our Blessed Savior; the final judgment; hell; and the kingdom of heaven.

Sometimes of such things as are subject rather to the understanding than imagination: as the consideration of Almighty God’s benefits, his bounty, clemency and other perfections which are in God. These meditations are called, the one intellectual, the other imaginary. Both of which, in these exercises, are to be used after a different manner, as occasion requires.

When the meditation is imaginary, so that the thing meditated upon has never had any actual existence or being (in an exact sense), we must so frame and represent it to our imagination, as though we were present in the same place and saw with our eyes those things which were there done. This representation will make the consideration of these things more vivacious and cause a greater impression in our souls; for if our imagination can comprehend whole cities and countries, with less difficulty can it comprehend one mystery. This helps much to the recollection of the mind; this will retain the same busied in itself as a bee in a hive, where she works and disposes all things diligently.

But in these things a moderation must be used; for to run with an overly active imagination to Jerusalem, to frame to the imagination those things which are to be meditated there, does oftentimes hurt the head. Wherefore, it is good to abstain from immoderate imaginations, lest nature, oppressed with too violent apprehensions, becomes infirm and weak.


If you would like to read the entire text, please click here and purchase Finding God Through Meditation from Emmaus Publishing.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, 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, the High Calling Seminary Preparation Program, 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. In 2018, he launched the annual Avila Summit held at Hanceville, Alabama. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband, father of four, and grandfather of one, the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc., a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer, speaker and pilgrimage director 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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