Lectio Divina Reading
January 4, 2004
Germanus: "But we must ask you to explain our last point. How can we firmly hold on to this verse which you have given us as a formula? How can we keep it in such a way that, by God’s grace, we are freed from the follies of earthly thoughts and are enabled to keep spiritual ideas unshakably within us?"
Isaac: "Three things keep a wandering mind in place: vigils, meditation, and prayer. Constant attention to them and a firm concentration upon them will give stability to the soul. But such stability cannot be obtained except by a continuous effort made not for the sake of ambitiousness but because of the requirements of the present way of life. This is the way to break out of the worries and the cares of the present life and to make possible for us the realization of the apostolic injunction "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thes 5:17)
"The one accustomed to prayer only when he bends the knee prays very little. The one who on bended knee gives himself over to distraction is not praying at all. Before the time of prayer we must put ourselves in the state of mind we would wish to have in us when we actually pray. It is an inexorable fact that the condition of the soul at the time of prayer depends upon what shaped it beforehand. The soul will rise to the heights of heaven or plunge into the things of earth, depending upon where it lingered before the time of prayer."
Thus then, was the second conference of the monk Isaac on the nature of prayer… …We very much wanted to put it into practice. We thought we had here a short and easy method. But in fact we found that it proved less easy than our regular habit of looking here and there in the body of Scripture for meditation themes without being bound by any one of them.
"But at least this much is clear. No one is shut off from perfection because of illiteracy. Lack of culture is no bar to that purity of heart and soul which lies quite close by to everyone. Constant meditation upon this verse will keep the mind wholly and entirely upon God."
Words of Wisdom
"So we understand at last that action must be born in silence, and abide in silence, and issue in silence, and that its power must be an emanation and the radiation of silence, since its sole aim is to make men and women capable of hearing the Word that silently reverberates in their souls?"
"In solitude Christ speaks to the heart, as a modest lover who embraces not His beloved before all the world."
from Our Lady of Wisdom, Zundel
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