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!
*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)
- *1 St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 died @49) Feast Day - Jan 28
- 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."
-- Saint Thomas AquinasGod'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.
*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
- lectio -- first you read, which leads to thinking about (i.e. meditate on / ponder) the significance of the text
- meditatio -- think about (i.e. meditate on / ponder) the significance of the text
- oratio -- respond in prayer
- contemplatio - prayer then points to the gift of quiet stillness in the presence of God, called contemplation
The Belles Heures of John Duke of Berry, 1408 fol 97.
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."
Describes the nature and characteristics of sanctifying grace; also treats of "justification", which is the preparation for sanctifying 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.
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.