difficult to sustain. We are usually helped by books, and Christians 127 do not want for them: the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts of the day or season, writings of the spiritual fathers, works of spirituality, the great book of creation, and that of history — the page on which the ‘today’ of God is written. 2706 To meditate on what we read helps us to make it our own by confronting it with ourselves. Here, another book is opened: the book of life. We pass from thoughts to reality. To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: ‘Lord, what do you want me to do?’ 2707 There are as many and varied methods of meditation as


there are spiritual masters. Christians owe it to themselves to

develop the desire to meditate regularly, lest they come to resemble the three first kinds of soil in the parable of the sower.5 But a method is only a guide; the important thing is to advance, 2664 with the Holy Spirit, along the one way of prayer: Christ Jesus. 2708 Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart and strengthen our will to follow Christ. e 516 tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio


divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great

value, but e should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him.


Contemplative Prayer

2709 What is contemplative prayer? St Teresa answers: ‘Contemplative prayer [oraciôn mental] in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to


be alone with him who we know loves us.’6

Contemplative prayer seeks him ‘whom my soul loves’.7 It is Jesus, and in him, the Father. We seek him, because to desire him is always the beginning of love, and we seek him in that pure faith which causes us to be born of him and to live in him. In this inner