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Lectio Divina Reading

October 28, 2007

“To attain spiritual enlightenment and become a person of recollected interior life, you should take one or the other of holy Scripture and, for as long a period as possible, concentrate on that alone all your power of attention and meditation; then the light of understanding will be revealed to you.”

Pg. 150, The Way of a Pilgrim, Billy

Statement of Intention for Centering Prayer

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier,
alive at the center of our being, we
wish to surrender in love to You.
May our sacred word,
which we will gently pray
when we engage with our thoughts,
be a sign and symbol of our intention to
consent to Your Divine Presence
And Action within.


Readings for Thursday, November 1, 2007, Solemnity of All Saints

Reading 1 (Rv 7:2-4, 9-14)

I, John, saw another angel come up from the East,
holding the seal of the living God.
He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels
who were given power to damage the land and the sea,
“Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees
until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal,
one hundred and forty-four thousand marked
from every tribe of the children of Israel.

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. 
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes
and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

Responsorial Psalm (Ps 24:1bc-2, 3-4ab, 5-6)

R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.

He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Reading II (1 Jn 3:1-3)

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.  Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.  We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.  Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.

Gospel (Mt 5:1-12a)

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Ending Prayers

My time of prayer is finished, trailing its ashes like an incense stick burned to the end. Quiet my mind before it passes judgment on this prayer, my gift to you. How can I judge its worth - this struggle to still my mind in you, my efforts to feel your presence in my prayer?  Only you can judge the simple song of love sung in the noisy chambers of my heart, often drowned by the wail of fear or the sweaty shouts of work that must be done. You, my hidden Father, waited in patience as memories called from the past and future prospects clamored for attention, filling my mind with yesterdays and tomorrows, stealing my sense of your presence.  As I prepare to go about my work, may my intention to live in your present moment be the pattern for this day and for my life. With your help may I forever do only one thing at a time - always in communion.

Imagine leaving behind all kinds of thought.  I am standing at the door
of my prayer room.  I am on the threshold.  Neither in nor out, I am
totally free.  I choose to unload all thoughts that burden me.  I put
down my fears and anxieties, my judgments and resentments, my
commentaries and preoccupations, my hopes and dreams, my memories and
wounds.  They are safe here. If I need to I can pick them up when I pass
by here again -- or I can leave a few behind each time I leave. 
Stepping into my prayer room I am emptied and unburdened.  I am
illuminated by the light that shines in the darkness.

A Deeper Love

We must seek to come to grips with our own false self.  The first step
is to accept the fact that I have a false self and begin to recognize when
it is operating.  If I do not do that I am wasting my time going on retreat
or listening to any sermons and the like, because my false self will act
like a tea-strainer, filtering out what it does not want to hear.  I will
hear what suits me, and if anything seems to be confronting me and asking me
to change I will probably become angry.  My anger will not seem to be
because I have been challenged; I will always find a very good reason for
it.  I will pick on some trivial point and focus on that or I will hear
something that was not said - anything at all will do as long as I do not
have to confront myself.

A Deeper Love, by Elizabeth Smith and Father Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm., Published in Great Britain.

Lectio Divina for CP Groups
Contemplative Outreach of Dallas

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