Saturday, February 26, 2011

Intro to Contemplative Retreat - Day 2: Meditation 1

opening prayer
  • Lord, give me grace to stay in Your presence and be attentive to You.
  • teach me to hear You, listen to You, talk with You, learn from You, interact with You, worship You, know You - not just from the head, but from the heart.
  • my head came in here, thinking of Romans 12:2 - "be transformed by the renewing of your mind". the word 'mind' here is 'nous' in greek, and it actually means heart and mind.
  • just the mind is not enough - must have the heart as well!
  • i've focussed much on training my mind - now it's time for my heart to catch up.
  • reminder to self: don't study with my mind - meditate with my heart!

  • aiyo! so easily distracted! just read 4 verses from Exodus 3:1-12 and my mind began to wander.
  • moses' encounter with the burning bush led me to think of divine initiative and human response, which led me to think of the atheists i've interacted with online and wonder how that dynamic has gone wrong (many of them claim that they've responded to God, even begged Him to help them keep their faith, but God just remained silent... as if He didn't exist. which was how they ended up atheists.) this then led me to think of various people i know who may be struggling with or not doing so well in their faith... and i had to clear that and commit them all to God before i could continue. cham lor!
  • then wanted to write it all here in my journal some more. alamak! distractions are everywhere, even though i'm alone! OK, back to the Word. Lord, help me guard my heart and mind, focus on You and Your Word, not be distracted!
  • lectio divina (a method of reading and meditating on God's Word that we were to practice in this retreat, with 4 steps: lectio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio) is hard. i kept getting distracted when reading the passage. (see above). i'd fall into 'study mode, and/or start thinking about how to teach or preach the Bible's truth to people.
  • to use the buffet analogy, instead of actually tasting the food, i'd begin thinking about what ingredients they were made of, and how the dishes were cooked, and how they'd taste to someone of a different culture.

meditatio (meditating, chewing over God's Word and hearing His voice):
  • anyway, after all the distractions and false starts, i meditated and chewed over verse 7, which speaks of God as
  1. the God who sees
  2. the God who hears
  3. the God who is concerned.

oratio (responding to God and what He has spoken, in prayer, worship, commitment, or action)
  • Lord, let me know - really know, not just in my head, but deep in my heart - that You are the God who sees, and hears, and is concerned. that no matter my circumstances, fears, doubts, pains, sorrows, struggles; times of loneliness or failure or despair or hopelessness; i will have You as my bedrock and security.
  • because You are my God... You see me, and You hear my cries and groans and prayers, and You are concerned, You care, You love me, You are on my side... even when i'm not on my own side, when i'm inadvertently working against myself and against You.
  • thank You, Lord, for who You are. may this knowledge of You be branded on my heart and stay with me always. AMEN.

contemplatio (just resting in God's presence, no need for further striving or reflecting.)


Kendra Bing said...
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ChenMay said...

Hey, it's been 5 months already. Looking forward to your next post!=P