Thursday, September 30, 2010

Virtue Club Assignment - Seed of a Journey

My son was working on small project for his Virtues Club meeting for tomorrow (First Friday).
We were reviewing a prayer he chose to share as part of his assignment. This particular prayer was one by St. Anthony of Padua, who is an important patron saint for us!
It is a beautiful, simple and straightforward prayer to The Holy Spirit. I wanted to make sure he understood all the words completely so we started to review . . . .

I do so LOVE how the simplest of things, when done for God, lead to greater understanding and joy.  The adventure of discovering deeper meaning in words and then our catechism is a journey I absolutely relish.

Here is the prayer (w/ links & footnotes) that was the seed of our journey. Come with us!

O God, send forth your Holy Spirit 
into my heart that I may perceive*1,
into my mind that I may remember and
into my soul that I may meditate*2
Inspire me to speak with piety, holiness, tenderness and mercy. 
Teach, guide and direct my thoughts and senses from beginning to end. 
May your grace ever help and correct me, and may I be strengthened now with wisdom*3 from on high, for the sake of your infinite*4 mercy. 

*1 perceive- understand
Why understand in our hearts? Because
1) To love God with all of our hearts is the best way to know him.
2) Knowing God in our hearts makes sense in the light of love.  We can never know (understand) God intellectually.*1
 St. Anthony asks the Holy Spirit to come into his mind so that he may remember.

*2 meditate - (NOT the Eastern religious definition of meditation)
 Old Testament Hebrew - haga: sigh, murmur, meditate / Greek from the Hebrew: melite / Latin root: ponder 
Catholic meditative prayer can be traced back to a 12th century Carthusian monk, GuigoII*2

*3 wisdom - From the Baltimore Catechism

Q. 707. Why do we receive the gift of Wisdom?
A. We receive the gift of Wisdom to give us a relish for the things of God, and to direct our whole life and all our actions to His honor and glory.

*4 infinite = never ending

More for me! (My son is now fast asleep)

  •  On the feast of St. Nicholas in 1273, as he said Mass, he received a revelation which so overwhelmed him that he never again wrote or dictated.  He put aside his chief work, the Summa Theologica (Summary of Theology - his final and most famous work which deals with the whole of Catholic theology).  It was still incomplete.  He said, 
"The end of my labors is come.  All that I have written seems to me so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me."

  • What Pope Benedict said in reference to St Thomas Aquinas - June 2010 (key words: faith, reason, democracy, dignity)
  • What St. Thomas Aquinas said that I need to remember - "It matters little whether a syllable be long or short, but it matters much to practice humility and obedience."
And, as the clock ticks past midnight . . . . I checked in on the saint quote of the day. What do you think I found? Yep, a wonderful wink from God in the form of serendipity. God is so good!
God's universal providence works through secondary causes . . . The world of pure spirits stretches between the Divine Nature and the world of human beings; because Divine Wisdom has ordained that the higher should look after the lower, Angels execute the Divine plan for human salvation: they are our Guardians, who free us when hindered and help to bring us home.
-- Saint Thomas Aquinas

    *2 About Guigo II:
    Surnamed "angelic" he was the 9th prior of the monastery. He is considered the first writer in the western tradition to consider stages of prayer as a ladder which leads to a closer mystic communion with God.
    His most famous book The Ladder of Monks is subtitled "a letter on the contemplative life" and is considered the first description of methodical prayer in the western mystical tradition.
    Guigo named the four steps of this "ladder" of Lectio Divina prayer with the Latin terms  
    1. lectio -- first you read, which leads to thinking about (i.e. meditate on / ponder) the significance of the text
    2. meditatio -- think about (i.e. meditate on / ponder) the significance of the text
    3. oratio -- respond in prayer
    4. contemplatio - prayer then points to the gift of quiet stillness in the presence of God, called contemplation
    Graphic: A Carthusian enters the Grand Chartreuse,     Here you find Selections from The Ladder of Monks
    The Belles Heures of John Duke of Berry, 1408 fol 97.

    *Grace (
    Actual Grace
    Explains the concept of actual grace, which is defined in the article as "a supernatural help of God for salutary acts granted in consideration of the merits of Christ."
    Sanctifying Grace
    Describes the nature and characteristics of sanctifying grace; also treats of "justification", which is the preparation for sanctifying grace.
    Controversies on Grace
    Discusses the various grace-related controversies in history, with a focus on the heresies of the Reformers and the Jansenists. Outlines the various Catholic solutions -- including Thomism, Augustinianism, Molinism, Congruism, and Syncretism.
    Supernatural Adoption
    Presents one of the most sublime of mysteries -- the gracious divinization of man, which enables him to partake of the inner life of the Most Blessed Trinity. 

    Subject of study in Virtue Club - 7 Gifts of The Holy Spirit


    GrandmaK said...

    I found this post inspiring. God is indeed good! And St. Thomas' (brother Tom's patron) quote regarding providence is one I'd not read! Wishing you well! Cathy

    Abbey said...

    Wonderful lesson for today, my friend!

    Be blessed,
    Abbey ♥

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