Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Weekday Readings

The Thirty-third Week of the Year 

November 20 - 25, 2023

Friday   Luke 19.45-48
In all of its history, the Temple was never more the temple, the place of God's presence, than when the Son of God enters and takes possession of the Temple.  It is now indeed a house of prayer with the presence of Jesus, the Word made flesh, dwelling among us.  Let my prayer be one with the prayer of Jesus rising up to the Father in the Spirit.  Let my prayer be the deep silence of gazing upon the Beauty of God upon the holy face of Christ.  Let Christ purify me of all the greed and lust, the pride and resentment that pollute the temple of my soul.  Let all my life, each day, be a prayer.  Enter me as your temple, Lord Jesus, by the gift of your Spirit.

Saturday   Luke 20.27-40
Many times I have heard the warning that we should not try to live like angels.  Living in the Spirit of God does not mean that I am like an angel.  No, I have a body; I am my body as much as I am my soul.  My prayer then must live in the reality of my physical life and the limitations of my body and mind.  But that is not the whole picture.  The fullness of life with Christ includes our participation in the glory of his Kingdom now.  "You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Colossians 3.3)  Thus I seek the unknowing of simple prayer of the heart without seeking to live in the dimension of my imagination and the natural promptings of my inquisitive mind.  I will not entrap Jesus in that web of questioning.  That which is to be revealed on the last day is beyond me.  I rest in the power and reality of God's making all things new in Christ in the Kingdom on the last day.  I pray that I may be worthy of a place in the Kingdom.  Who am I that I should enter under your roof, O Lord?  You are Life, O Trinity, and fill me with that life now and into eternity.


The Thirty-fourth and Last Week of the Year

November 27 - December 2, 2023

Monday    Luke 21.1-4
She was a poor widow; it was obvious from her appearance.  This widow clutching her two copper coins among all the rich must have tried to be hidden.   But she was mistaken.  She is noticed.  She is caught in the spotlight of the glance of the Son of God.  For all eternity she has a place in the proclamation of the Gospel.  She is the model of those who will enter the Kingdom of God.  We must be poor in her spirit and we must be as children to enter the eternal Temple which is the Body of Christ Glorified.  My prayer must be like that woman entering the Temple.  If ever I think that I bring more than the poor offerings of the widow then my prayer may be empty; it is not fully prayer.

Tuesday   Luke 21.5-11
I live in two dimensions every moment of my life.  In one dimension I look upon creation with love, respect and admiration: so much to admire about the beauty of the things and people about me.  Yet the other dimension of life teaches me that nothing lasts.  Death takes away my loved ones; decay and destruction change things.  At the center is the ultimate and the absolute: that is the eternal Kingdom of Christ.  Amid the dimensions of my life I must take heed of the one thing necessary.  I must not be led astray either by not appreciating things or by depending too much on things and even on people.  "Do not go after them."  My prayer must be vigilance.  My prayer must be the Spirit who speaks with the unutterable groans of the Triune Mystery and Christ's final victory.

Wednesday   Luke 21.12-19
"For my name's sake."  Nothing speaks more of the divinity of Christ than that he demands all of me.  Death, suffering, persecution, worldly failure, all are to be borne for him and for the sake of his Kingdom in the face of hatred and persecution because His way is of the Cross.  He becomes my "mouth and my wisdom."  My prayer is real if I see only Him as the being and end of all.  The power of faith to accept this call is the subtle, real power I experience from him in grace freely given.  Jesus says: "For I will give"—this is grace, the gift, the mysterious commingling of my life with his.  This commingling of Christ’s power and my weakness is of the Holy Spirit.  How else do I receive Him so directly except in a quiet, simple, silent attitude that is all trust and waiting?  The source and summit of the gift is communion in the Holy Eucharist which is the source and summit of all life in God.

Thursday   Luke 21.20-28
“Desolation;  days of vengeance;  distress of nations in perplexity;  fainting from fear;  the roaring of the sea”—in summary, chaos seems to return to creation.  All these dire warnings are really the back-drop to the drama that Christ reveals to me.  Yes, I read the papers.  I know the calamities that come upon humanity.  But the heart of the message, the kernel of our faith, is the glory that is Christ's in his second coming.  "And then they will see the Son of man coming in great glory."  Here is where my heart must remain; my prayer must be based on this truth of Christ’s ultimate victory at the end of history.  In my prayer I begin to glimpse this glory of Christ.  My prayer is looking up, seeing the glory that is Christ.  My prayer is the lifting up of my head.  My faith is expressed in this silent, unitive prayer.  Already I am one with Christ in the second coming.  I am already seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father.  The Holy Spirit sent by Christ ultimately infuses this reality into me.  My prayer looks up into his coming.  “Lift up your hearts!”

Friday   Luke 21.29-33
Union with the Mystery of God through prayer communicates knowledge, light that is born of the love coming from the Holy Spirit.  "You know that the Kingdom of God is near."  There is a commingling of the reality of the Mystery and my own reality in the here and now, and in the future.  What is that future?  It is not measured in months or years or in developmental stages or by place and status.  It is the future that is now.  It is my sitting with Christ at the right hand of the Father in glory.  Even now!  That is the knowing that is communicated to me in prayer through wisdom, the gift of the Holy Spirit.  All things will pass away, but the Word in whom I dwell will not pass away.  By grace, the Word and I are one.

Saturday   Luke 21.34-36
"But take heed to yourselves…."  The interior life with its desire for prayer begins when one discovers the center of his or her thoughts and motivations, then, in grace, seeks to surrender to Christ's Kingdom.  That is the focus of prayer.  The fruit of that focus is living Christ-love among others in mission and service.  Take heed so that I don't slip into the easy way and then become "weighed down."  Living with self as the dominant center is a terrible weight.  However, whatever we choose, we do not escape the ultimate reality of Christ as the all of creation.  For each person whatever path he or she has chosen, Christ appears at the end of life and at the end of the world to be the judge and savior.  Again prayer is at the heart of this message:  "But watch at all times, praying…."  Prayer can bring the grace of persevering strength.  On the negative side I want to say no to the choosing of myself over Christ.  On the positive side I desire to "stand before the Son of man."  I long for the victory of Christ standing in his resurrection, the victor over death and sin.  His gift of the Holy Spirit from the bosom of the Father enables me.  My prayer is my consent to this gift in faith, hope and love.  Come, Lord Jesus, come.

William Fredrickson, OBLSB, D.Min.






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William Fredrickson