Friday, October 22, 2010

A Treatise On Prayer And Meditation

I never cease to be amazed at all I can learn from the saints. It is one of the reasons you find a good number of my posts dedicated to them. As a child, their lives fascinated me. Now as an adult I find myself drawn to their numerous writings on all sorts of important topics in the spiritual life.
I am always interested in what they have to say on the subject of prayer. Teresa of Avila has written copious amounts on this topic. Her confessor and friend, Peter of Alcantara also wrote a treatise on prayer and meditation.
St Peter of Alcantara is not among the more widely known saints, but his life and the things he has written are worth reading. The actual date of his feast seems to be a bit fuzzy. In the 1962 Roman Missal, his feast is celebrated on October 19. I have found many blogs and sites remembering him today. The actual date of his feast is not all that important, what we can learn from him is.
I found an excerpt from his Treatise on Prayer and Meditation on Scott Hahn's site, The St Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Just an aside, this site has a wealth of information on many spiritual topics as well as the various spiritualities (Franciscan, Carmelite, Dominican, etc) But back to St Peter and his treatise.
There is a Monday Morning Meditation included. I warn you, it is not for the spiritually faint of heart! It is tough, but exactly what we need in this day and age. What the saints knew even before they were saints was their knowledge of the fact that they were sinners. We are all sinners. There is no way around that. But knowing this and acknowledging it can lead to deep humility. This meditation which is what most of us would call an examination of conscience, is extremely humbling if we do it honestly. Yes we are sinners, but God in His love and mercy does not wish to leave us there.
Prayer is our conversation and connection to and with God. He gave us the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ to save us from our sins and to show us the way back home to Him. God has also raised up powerful, yet humble saints throughout history to help us. They do this from heaven with their prayers and intercession, and in the writings and teachings they have left us.
Thank you, St Peter of Alcantara for your teaching on prayer, meditation and devotion. May we learn from it and use it to deepen our love and relationship with God. May we learn humility by acknowledging our sinfulness, and then turn to God for His forgiveness.


sunny said...

enjoyed your blog... I don't have computer at the moment so have to use our library...

Karinann said...

Thank you and welcome, sunny.

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.