The Work of Contemplation
" So shall my word be
that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that
which I purpose." Is 55,11
Dear to monastic tradition, there are four aspects to Lectio divina:
Lectio (readings) Meditatio (meditation) Oratio
(mental prayer) and Contemplatio (contemplation)
Lectio divina opens a privileged avenue to search and contemplate
the face of Christ in Sacred Scriptures.
Having thus established communication with the Word of God, we are
led to the Father by Him through the Spirit.
Tuned in to the Lord
The Word of God is made flesh in Christ, and as a written text inspired
by the Spirit, the Word takes shape in the Sacred Scriptures which
are the Church's greatest treasure along with the Eucharist.
Like Mary of Bethany, attentively listening to the Word issuing
from the Mouth of God, we are possessed by its unfathomable wealth;
we scrutinize it unfailingly, and with love, we find our nourishment
Lectio prepares us for Liturgy. It reveals Who the Word of God
is, and what He expects from us. Lectio is not only a school of
prayer, but also a school of life. The Word deposits within us the
sacred fire of Evangelization:
Assimilating the Word helps us to understand God's
action within us and among His People. The Word also allows us,
in the light of the Spirit, to understand that the Word and the
Sacred Books as a whole are related, and also to understand the
progressive actualization of God's plan for humanity. Harboured
within mindful hearts, the Word of God echoes through our day-to-day
To open our minds to the understanding of Scriptures, that gift
of the Risen Christ, and to savour its flavour, there is ruminatio-
or the contemplative complement of reflection - which necessarily
requires a special effort of concentration for our thoughts, our
feelings and of our memory.
In meditatio, the mystery of the Resurrection is our preferred
focus for all the other mysteries of salvation.
With Christ, in the Church
In Oratio, the soul pours itself into God Whose love it knows, and
Whom it wishes to love in return.
Faithfully fulfilling the mission entrusted
to us by Holy Mother Church, we fervently practise oratio
as did Jesus.
Through His paschal sacrifice and the complete offering of
His life, the Redeemer entered the celestial sanctuary where
He henceforth offers eternal praise and intercession at the
Father's side. All adoration and all supplication are continuously
being inspired by Him to us and are forever included in His
own worship. Therefore do we become acutely conscious of our
Royal Priesthood, and we know that our prayer is included
in that of Christ the Priest. In an attempt to replicate the
disposition of His Heart, we most zealously strive to make
His intentions our own.
Mirroring the Heart of God
In contemplatio God invades the soul through the channel of Holy
Scriptures like a river reflecting His Divine Image. The veil which
separated us from Scriptures is removed: in Christ, it has disappeared
(2 Co 3,16).
Thus transformed by Christ, the soul becomes a new creature, abandons
itself in confident intimacy to her God Who reveals Himself in the
secret of Faith, teaches it His ways, grants it the grace of following
them, and return love for love.
Dedicated above all to a contemplative life, we, daughters of prayer
- so designated by Mother Catherine Aurelia,- we unceasingly renew
our conviction that nothing is more fruitful for the Church than
the heart-to-heart contemplation of God.
Present to the Presence, offering the chalice of salvation, that
striking symbol of the love of Christ who died on Calvary and now
reigns in Heaven, we beg for grace and forgiveness, both for ourselves
and for all of humanity.
Having made our own the mysterious SITIO of Christ Crucified, having
meditated upon it, savoured and understood it, we seek intimacy
with God, withdrawn from the world, in the company of Mary Immaculate.
Who, more than Mary was able to think over in her heart the mysteries
of the life of Jesus ?