Sanchez: Reflection, meditation and contemplation

WHILE preparing for next week’s second cycle of the Prayer and Life Workshop (PLW), I saw this. I would like to share with my readers' excerpts of what I wrote in 2016.

Now that I am a lay Franciscan, I got to deepen my reflections based on the values of Franciscan spirituality. I bring to the table the worldview and values of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the environment.

On hindsight, I have always been reading as part of my self-continuing education. I review and reflect on what went right and what went wrong for the day. This time, however, I use as my parameters for reviewing the Words of God.

I noted what I learned in PLW. Quite a novelty for me since I have been a talkative person in my adult years. Yet the great saints advocated daily moments of silence. St. Ignatius de Loyola promoted silence prayer among the Jesuits. St. Mother Theresa once said: “In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”

I realize that with silencing we don’t need to vocalize prayers, leaving our minds empty, getting rid of our concerns leave our mental state open for a communion with God.

Then there’s the desert. As an environmentalist, the desert serves as a form of a communion and appreciation of Nature and of God.

I would love to be “exiled” in the mountain forests of the Northern Negros Natural Park and the Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park. My only regret is that PLW came late in my life. Years ago, forest conservation projects brought me inside forests. There would have been plenty of prayer and reflection after a day’s hike.

What would Jesus do? I have been studying the Bible for some time. I had an opportunity to reflect on what the Gospels tell us on what our Lord Jesus Christ would do if faced with the challenges in my life.

This has closely with Scriptural reading. To know our Lord is to know and to gain a deeper understanding of the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles in the light of today’s problems. What would Jesus do in striking a balance between the right to life on one hand, and on the other, curb criminality which has led to crimes of impunity?

In PLW, I learned to maintain a digital and to jot down notes in an old-fashioned notebook scriptural journal. I starting jotting down notes on my prayer reflections. It’s a blessing to review what wrote and the spiritual maturity that went with it. (bqsanc@yahoo.mail)


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