I am convinced that the key to deepening my understanding of prayer and meditation is learning the concrete and everyday ways that average people are leveraging meditative practices to deal with stress and connect with Jesus.
In this way, I am convinced of the holiness of everyday Catholics.
Recently, I encountered an example of this. A businessman who has done well for himself, and has done incredible things for the Church, explained to me how he likes to process his day and life by imagining himself talking to Jesus.
In the morning, he thinks about his day and thanks Jesus for the good and bad things in his life. In the evening, he talks with Jesus about how his day went. When he is stressed out, he talks with Jesus. Sometimes, he just zones out and rests in peace with the Lord. He told me this happens most when he is commuting to work.
Meditation is really that simple.
The techniques and methods are simply a beginner’s guide meant to help practice the more spontaneous exploration described by my friend. The goal is not to do something or to accomplish something. The goal is to give unscripted time to the Lord to process what’s going on and connect it with his gentle presence.
I know that might be difficult for many people, but realize the goal is not to feel good things all the time or to maximize pleasure. If you simply give spontaneous time to the Lord and remain rooted in the Word of God and in the sacraments, the Lord is going to open doors in your heart.
I like to think of folks like the businessman as everyday mystics, and we are all called to be everyday mystics.