Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Weekday Readings



Fourteenth Week in the Year, July 6 - 11, 2020
Matthew 9.18-26
"While he was thus speaking to them … "—Christ’s voice resounds and his words are heard by people in real circumstances of need.  A father presents his dead child; a woman offers her grave illness.  The substance of prayer is to surrender my consciousness into the reception of the words of  Scripture.  The meaning of Scripture is always beyond me, inexhaustible in its divine origin and always beyond my creature-hood and sinfulness.  Prayer is the temerity that the grace of the Spirit gives to reach into God through Jesus and to hope that the divine words will become real in the action of my life.  Illness, death and the actuality of my sins are brought into the Presence, then in the action of the Spirit of Christ they become health, life and redemption.  The silence of my prayer is itself a word that speaks into the fullness of Christ who heals  and gives life.  Prayer in the word of Christ is never only an intellectual process but is  fruitful surrender that leads to re-actions that occur in my life because of the word in its saving power.
Matthew 9.32-38
"The harvest is plentiful."  When we look out on the world  we see chaos and desolation, what appear to be defeat and death of God.  Jesus sees it as the harvest.  When I go to pray, I am a laborer sent out to bring in the harvest.  “The Father works until now, and I work.”  My prayer is part of the work of the Kingdom.  The Kingdom grows out of the Mystery of Christ.  As the seeds grow and become plants bringing forth fruit nobody sees the plant’s inner workings, so the power of the risen Christ is moving in all things and people.  My prayer, deep silent, loving, is part of the rhythm of this transformation.  “Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers. “ I will pray and will cooperate in all that my vocation and human condition call forth from me.  Not to see the harvest of the mysterious work of transformation is to see only the prince of chaos at work.
Matthew 10.1-7
My silent, interior prayer is never separate from the inner life of the Church,  “the fullness of Him who fills all things.”  At the center of the Church is the Mystery of Christ, the ever present and working relationship of the Son to the Father in the Spirit.  "And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out and to heal every disease and infirmity."  Christ Jesus ordains that these twelve men, called by Him to Himself,  the Apostles,  in their visible, institutionalized, corporate entity, are made the bearers of the Mystery of Christ.  Through their successors they are the signs of the unity and reality of the Church.  It is not necessary to rehearse this aspect of the Revelation each time I pray, but it is the foundation of my life in Christ.  “They who see you see me.”  “Blessed are those who have not seen me but believe because of your word.”  "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word …."  The Church in her sacraments and dogma is the door by which I enter into the Mystery of Christ.  This is the apostolic foundation of my prayer.  Separation between the institution and the Spirit is a false and destructive dichotomy.
Matthew 10.7-15
It's all about preaching as you go along.  The object of the preaching in the apostolic commission is the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom is at hand.  It's right here in the place you are standing, in the words of your mouth and your behavior toward others.  The Kingdom is all about simplicity.  Don't complicate it with a lot of embellishment.  God wants me to be completely His.  The response then is simple: Belong to God through the power of Christ's Mystery.  There's no fooling around.  There's no soft talk of "all are welcome--come as you are."  To accept the Kingdom costs.  The cost is losing my own self orientation.  I strip naked at the entrance to be clothed anew at the Kingdom's banquet.  It will bring peace.  But if the invitation is rejected then I am rejected, and the peace is taken back.  Christ will shake off the dust from his feet.  My prayer must reflect this simplicity and directness.  Nothing is to be preferred to  the Kingdom of Christ.
Matthew 10.16-23
The fruit of my prayer is consciousness of real relationship that incorporates me into the life of the Holy Trinity.  The Spirit of Jesus enables me to live experientially in the Father.  Prayer intensifies this living knowledge of love and relationship that only God in grace can impart.  But it is in trials, in persecutions and tribulations, indeed in the face of death, that this experience of the Spirit becomes real.  So Jesus says in the Gospel, that we should not be anxious what to say or do in those moments.  It is the Spirit of the Father who speaks through me.  It is the habit of prayer that makes me to recollect that inward presence. This presence is the source of strength which articulates, in the midst of the problem, the logic of Christ's Kingdom.  The voice of the Spirit is heard above the tumult of the many waters.  Our salvation is to persevere in that Spirit that is given to us.  Our salvation is to persevere in grace, even to the end of the ages, when Christ will come in glory.
Matthew 10.24-33
Am I to expect anything less from the world than what Jesus received?  Again the foundation of the Trinitarian experience resounds.  Fidelity to the Gospel word of Christ is fidelity to the union of the Father and the Son.  Faithful to our witness to the Son is to share in the fidelity of the abiding life of the Trinity.  With gentleness and courage, with the simplicity of the dove and the steady eye of the serpent, my confession of Jesus is in the sight of the Father so that, in return, Jesus presents me in the Spirit to the Father.  Here is my beloved brother in whom I am well pleased.  So I fear not.  All creation, like the little sparrows, lies in the hand of the Father.

 --William Fredrickson, Obl. Sec. OSB, D.Min.


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