Before moving forward in A Disciple’s Journey to Holiness, let’s review the four R’s of mental prayer: read, reflect, relate and resolution. We end our meditation by choosing a practical concrete resolution to keep in mind and live throughout the day. Resolve to apply the grace from this meditation to transform you. You can, also, take a phrase or word that struck you—and repeat it throughout the day. This will keep your mind on the meditation and help to focus your thoughts and heart on God and following the example of Jesus.
- Put into practice something concrete revealed to you by the Holy Spirit that perhaps he wants you to change.
- Resolve to live the meditation all day.
- Then choose some practical, precise and concrete action to live out.
Examples of a resolution:
- I will not complain today but will thank God for my many blessings each time that I am tempted to complain.
- When I feel anxious today about something, I will replace that feeling with the thought that God will take care of me.
- If I am in the midst of suffering, I will remember that God allows this suffering for my good and the good of others, and that there is meaning and purpose to the suffering.
Our resolution after meditation is so important to the goal of overcoming our faults and rooting out imperfections that this becomes an impossible task without it. This is why St. Frances de Sales says, “This practice is essential to our spiritual growth and should never be omitted.” The danger being we may mistakenly assume that we are achieving the striking things upon which we meditate, when in fact our actions prove otherwise.
It may be helpful to reflect upon the seven deadly sins, so that we can better understand areas of our interior life we may need to give special attention. The seven deadly sins—pride, anger, envy, lust, gluttony, avarice and sloth—are a helpful categorization of those actions which damage our relationship with God and neighbor.
Next Issue – Penance and purification: pride, anger and envy of the seven deadly sins.