What is the essence of meditation?

The essence of meditation is a prayerful seeking that starts with a sacred text or a sacred image and explores the will, the signs, and the presence of God. We cannot “read” sacred images and texts the way we read things in the newspaper that do not immediately concern us. Instead, we should meditate on them; in other words I should lift my heart to God and tell him that I am now quite open to what God wants to say to me through what I have read or seen. Besides Sacred Scripture, there are many texts that lead to God and are suitable for meditative prayer.

What is vocal prayer?

In the first place, prayer is lifting the heart to God. And yet Jesus himself taught his disciples to pray with words. With the Our Father he left us the perfect vocal prayer as his testament to show how we should pray. While praying we should not try to think pious thoughts. We should express what is in our hearts and offer it to God as complaint, petition, praise, and thanks. Often it is the great vocal prayers – the Psalms and hymns of Sacred Scripture, the Our Father, the Hail Mary that direct us to the true substance of prayer and lead to a kind of free, interior prayer.

Prayer of the day

Today is the memorial of St Jerome, a priest and a doctor of the Church.

Prayer: O God, who gave the Priest Saint Jerome a living and tender love for Sacred Scripture, grant that your people may be ever more fruitfully nourished by your Word and find in it the fount of life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.