Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Sunday Readings


Passion Sunday; Cycle C, April 14, 2019
 Readings: Isaiah 50.4-7; Philippians 2.6-11; Luke 22.14 - 23.56

Connect two moments today in your daily practice of prayer.
First, you will give yourself to quiet prayer, a prolonged period of being present in silence to the work and presence of God within you in the name of Jesus, the Son, our Lord.  You fulfill the Gospel prescription for prayer: close the door and enter into the secret place of your being in God. 
Second, you will share in the today’s Catholic Liturgy along with your Church brethren.  You will all receive and hold blessed palms in your hands.  Most likely you will go in procession with those palms.
The prayer for the blessing of the palms in the Liturgy sums it all up: “"Almighty, ever-living  God, sanctify these branches with your blessing, that we who follow Christ the King in exultation, may reach the eternal Jerusalem through him.  Who lives and reigns forever.
These two distinct moments of silent, solitary prayer and sharing in the liturgy of the sacramental Church are one.   The act of quiet love-surrender in prayer is one with the liturgical act of holding the palms as a symbol of your self-gift to Christ Jesus in His Mystery of death and resurrection.
The liturgy of Christ’s Mystery in the fullness of His Catholic Church and our surrender to the Triune God in our contemplative practice are one act of faith, hope and love.
The Second Reading is especially the prime word on the deepest aspect of contemplative life. 

Your attitude must be Christ’s: Though he was in the form of God, he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at.  Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave and it was thus that he humbled himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross!
The palm in our hands and the silence of our prayer reflect the obedience of Christ.  One with Jesus in the Holy Spirit we surrender in obedience to the Father in the reality of our human condition.  In this way we have the attitude—the mind of Christ.  The whole meaning of our life is transformation into the image and likeness of Christ by Whom we were created and redeemed.
The rule of life then becomes simple yet exacting.  In every circumstance and relationship we seek to surrender to the love of Christ.   We live by the faith that there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. 
Every blessing and every pain in our daily life call for surrender in the obedience of the crucified Christ.  Thus we are servants of God in imitation of Christ the Servant of Yahweh.  That is the message of the First Reading:

The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.  Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, I have not turned back.  I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
The Liturgy of the Church will carry us during this Holy Week.  We need but the mind of Christ with which to approach our sharing in it.  No matter what might be the particulars of our particular parochial liturgies, surrender and obedience will bring us into its fullness.  That is the attitude of Christ.  The fruit will be transformation into Christ. 

Contemplative life cannot exist unless our memory is infused with the supernatural virtue of hope.  Hope resides, for the most part, in our memory which is our knowledge bank.  In the middle of the experience held in the memory, hope enables us to be open to that which is beyond all experience. Hope offers an expectancy which is beyond the limits of our experience.  Christian hope is a night to our memory, but hope is also a light that glows from faith and leads to love.  St. John of the Cross writes that faith and hope are two wings for love which bears us  into God.

-William Fredrickson, Obl. Secular OSB; D.Min.


For questions, comments or other communication, please contact:
William Frederickson