The "Key" to Meditation
In recent posts and reflections, we have mentioned the idea of a "key" to prayer. This is the idea that, when we pray, particularly when we engage in mental prayer and meditation, it is important to have a key to "unlock" the mystery of the Faith which is our focus. For example, if we meditate on the Incarnation, which aspect is best to focus on? We all know that God became man, but the fact that this is so familiar to us might make it "common" and thus...less fascinating.
The idea that the Incarnation can lose its fascination is appalling! However, this can happen. Think about this: how could reflecting on the mysteries of salvation, such as while praying the Rosary, cause us to fall asleep? But, it happens, to all of us. Thus, the Faith, as divine and wonderful and beautiful as it is, can become "common" to us. In one sense, this is great; in another, tragic.
As a result, we need to be able to pierce the mysteries and open them anew, perceiving in them new insights. They are, of course, inexhaustible.
Here is an example. During Advent, as I prepared for Christmas, I prayed for a renewed faith, and for new insight into the Incarnation. This is a common practice, during any season of penance and preparation, such as Advent and Lent, but also during any personal penitential "season" that you may initiate in your spiritual life. When Christmas finally dawned, there appeared to me a deep insight into the Sacred Heart of Our Lord. I could "sense" the beating of His Heart - not mystically but that my attention was intensely drawn to the reality of Our Lord's true human heart, beating in His sacred humanity.
Realizing this grace, I thanked God for it, and began to reflect on it constantly. The next time I began meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries with the Rosary, this grace gave me a new and profound insight - a key - to open up a new depth in Our Lord's Agony in the Garden. Then, I could see clearly the Agony of Our Lord as manifested in His beating Heart. "Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” (Mt 26:37f) I could sense His anxiety and fear, the emotions as He prayed to the Father, and the disappointment when He saw His Apostles sleeping. His Sacred Heart was racing, beating faster with fear, calmer with prayer, and faster again as His Heart was "sorrowful and troubled."
This key changed the way I meditated, and it made it very easy to meditate. These keys are graces that Our Lord wants to bestow upon us. Ask Him for these, and He will give them to you. So, do that. Right now, ask Our Lord for the grace to perceive, more deeply, the beauty of the mysteries of our salvation. He will respond. Perhaps, though, He will require that you purify your heart first, that there will be room for this grace. So, perhaps you could offer your Rosary, for the next three days, for the intention of receiving a grace of new insight into whichever mystery or teaching you desire to understand more fully. Perhaps fast one day - or wake up earlier each day to pray...and pray more.
Make an offering of love for Our Lord and He will grant you the grace you seek.