The idea behind this book was to put into one short work a summary of my ideas on how to enter into the silence of meditation. One short-coming I have found in other works on meditation is that they tend to take one strategy and make them the focal point of their entire work. For example, there are many excellent books on using Ignatian imaginative meditation. However, the problem is that they give the impression that if you are not meditating as they describe, then somehow you have gotten it wrong.
One of my main points is that there is no such thing as “incorrect” or “bad” prayer and meditation. Often, we tend to generalize about a whole series of experiences, and many of the times these generalizations can do more harm than good. Most of the time, what we call “bad” prayer is really suffering in prayer. Instead of meaning that we are praying bad when we suffer, sometimes it means the opposite because we are finally giving the Holy Spirit the opportunity to do the important work of purification. Prayer is always good so long as it is done in communion with Christ and His Church.
With that in mind, this work contains many suggestions which are meant to be a simple guide to help you navigate your interior life. I am always interested in hearing if these ideas are helpful or not. They have been helpful for me, but that does not necessarily mean they will be helpful for you. Thus I would encourage you to ignore the parts of this work that do not bear fruit in your spiritual life. Maybe you can revisit them in the future. In my spiritual life, certain practices have been helpful at certain times, but that does not mean I do all of them all the time. In my opinion, the skilled meditator learns how to adapt their meditation to the circumstances of their life. For example, after a long day at work when the mind is exhausted, some ways of relating to the Lord will work better than others.
All of this, however, must be understood in the context of a very simple spiritual principle that stands at the center of Christian spirituality. Our prayer and meditation must lead us to participate in the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. We are called to love God, to love our neighbor, and to love our enemies, and we will grow in our relationship with the Lord the extent to which we strip away the layers that keep us from love. It is love which is the ultimate fruit and sign of our intimacy with Jesus Christ. Spiritual experiences may be pleasant, but without love they are insufficient. We must always keep in mind that love is both the means of Christian holiness and the goal. Without love, everything else is just vanity.
Love is that font of vitality which constitutes the primary discovery of our prayer lives. As we learn to navigate the silence and to open our hearts to the Lord, we will soon discover the light of Mt. Tabor operating within us. This light is nothing short of the dynamic indwelling of God through love, and conforming to this presence constitutes the trajectory of our spiritual growth. This book is meant to be guide to help you discover this light within you.
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