St. Theresa of Avila mentioned that without a book written for spiritual reading on her lap, she found meditation almost impossible. The following is based on and inspired by her instruction to her nuns on how to practice meditation:
Read: What to read? Read a book written for spiritual meditation. Obvious examples are the Gospels and the Psalms. Spiritual meditation material is any book written for the purpose of bringing the soul into communion with God; to sit still with our being … enjoying his being; “My being with his being, sitting and being together.” Examples: The Bible, especially the Psalms and the Gospels; Magnificat; In Conversation with God by Father Francis Fernandez; Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Philippe (actually, all of his books are excellent!); Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen; The Way by St. Josemaria Escriva; Introduction to the devout life by St. Francis DeSales; Story of a Soul by St. Thérèse of Lisieux; Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul by Maria Faustina.
Reflect: Read until something strikes you. Then, stop, and put the book down and reflect on what you just read. Why did this passage or word strike you? What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? Cease being in a hurry. Let yourself be still and peaceful, soaking in this point for as long as possible.
Relate: Relate this passage or point to Jesus. Allow any internal and spontaneous conversation from the depths of your soul to bubble up.
Resolution: Resolve to apply the grace from this meditation to transform you. This means to put into practice something concrete revealed to you by the Holy Spirit that he wants you to change. Another method is to take something from your prayer — i.e., a phrase or word that struck you — and repeat it throughout the day. This will focus your mind on prayer, which will focus your thoughts and heart on God-centered actions.
Problems: What happens if I find nothing that strikes me?
Then read just a paragraph, stop, then re-read the paragraph slowly. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you receive his insights. It may be helpful to have a pencil near you to circle any word or phrase that offers you any divine information or insight. After circling a point or two, now you have something on which to reflect.
Coming up next issue: Why is the Resolution Step so important?