“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord, my rock and redeemer” (Psalm 19:14. The Common English Bible).
One day, while I was doing Lectio Divina on the words of Psalm 19:14 in The Common English Bible, I found myself disturbed by the words “and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord my rock and redeemer.” As I meditated on these words I found myself needing to reword the quote from this Psalm. “May the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, my Lord, my rock, my redeemer; so that the words of my mouth may also be pleasing to you.” If what I am meditating on in my heart is to be pleasing to God, then I must do what scares me the most. I must relinquish control of what I think I know will be pleasing to God within my heart to begin with. I must let God teach my heart what is pleasing to God. How can I please God in the meditations of my heart, if I do not let God teach me what pleases God?
I recently began reading an incredible book entitled Desert Fathers and Mothers: Early Christian Wisdom Sayings, Annotated & Explained. The annotations and commentary are written by Dr. Christine Valters Paintner. As I have been thinking of what I was going to write in this blog reflection today, I came across some words that she wrote that express so beautifully, what I am writing about.
“The desert journey isn’t about embarking on a long and arduous struggle to find God at the end of the road. Desert spirituality is about looking for God right in the midst of wrestling with ourselves. God in the heart of the struggle, and so we are to stay there with the holy presence until the treasure is revealed” (From the Introduction, p. XXIX).
If we are to embark on a mystical journey with God, then we must begin by letting go of thinking that we must have the answers for everything that is going on with us; inside and out. Searching for union with God in the deepest recesses of our whole self, is an excursion with the God who knows us better than we know ourselves. When we are in our cells in solitude with God, there is no pretending that our human brokenness is not there. We must face it, and let God walk through it with us; so that we can by God’s grace, let it go. Only then, can the meditations of our heart be pleasing to God who is our rock and redeemer; and from our mouths will come what is pleasing to God and beneficial for the world around us.
“The blessed space of quiet discernment and contemplative understanding manifests itself when we are quiet enough to listen to the still, small voice guiding our path forward” (Teresa Pasquale Mateus, Ashes and the Phoenix; Meditations for the Season of Lent, edited by Len Freeman, p56).
“Go sit in your cell, and your cell will teach your everything.” (Abba Moses).
“Listen and incline the ear of your heart” (Prologue, The Rule of Saint Benedict).
When you meditate with God in your heart, what do you hear God saying to you?
Peace be with all who enter here.
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB-CoS
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