Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Weekday Readings


Easter Season

Fourth Week of Easter

John 10.1-10 (11-18)
How should we approach You, Lord, in prayer?  We would have to trust that You will lead us more fully into Your Kingdom.  We find ourselves captive in selfishness, in the memory of sins, in the tide of temptation, in a cultural atmosphere that denies the Kingdom.  We desire to be in the Kingdom.  We desire to be among the people who belong to God completely.  Lead as a shepherd leads his flock.  You are the door into the Kingdom.  Open the entrance into the divine life which You share with Your Father and the Holy Spirit.  Enable us to become attentive to Your voice.  Make us be sensitive to all the nuances of Your spoken words.  Awaken us to discern voices that are not Yours, that are in opposition to Your way.  Your voice leads  to knowledge of You and Your Father.  That is the goal:  To dwell with You and Your Father.  This power comes from the grace of Your sacrifice.  You lay down Your life freely in the sacrifice that is redemption.  You take your life up again in the power of Your Resurrection.  Your power is grace shared among us.  It is Your power, grace and sacrifice that bring us together into the unity of Your Kingdom.  Each Eucharist offered, every Our Father prayed, is an expression of our being led by You, the Good Shepherd into the fullness of the Kingdom.
John 10.22-30
The quality of my faith determines the quality of my prayer.  The strength of my faith depends upon the desire of my prayer.  Prayer is the surrender of all my faculties of consciousness to the light of faith.  Faith leads me into the Person of Jesus.  My surrender there to Jesus in His Spirit enables me to receive the grace of union with the Holy Trinity, with the Father from Whom the Son and Holy Spirit proceed.  This is not doctrinal speculation but fruition of Presence.  But the Presence depends upon the surrender of faith to the doctrine.  The words of Jesus, "I and the Father are One," are doctrine.  These words when accepted in faith lead us into the Presence.  Jesus, you have spoken to me and I have not readily believed many times.  Your voice has sounded but I have been an errant sheep.  Your works are around me, but I have looked the other way.  But now, I surrender.  My prayer is surrender.  I will not resist the Father who has given me to You.  Nothing shall snatch me away from You.  Nothing shall take the place of prayer in which I am Yours and You are mine in the Father and the Spirit.  You are the gift from God and my prayer allows me to receive You with open arms.
John 12.44-50
"Believing," "Seeing," "Light:  all words from the Gospel."  To believe in You is to see You for you are Light.  "The world."  The world is the organization of secularized human endeavor, energized with all the natural powers that can be harnessed by men and women enlightened by reason and motivations limited to observable phenomena.  The world in all its cycles of endeavor ends in death because without Christ it is in darkness.  Without the explicit light of Christ in His spoken word, accepted in the fullness of faith, there are places of darkness and death.  Everything of earth comes to death then the life cycle begins over and over again.  But justified by faith we are of am of eternal life in Christ.  The judgment of God is against the world-systems that reject Christ.  As Jesus knew nothing except of what is of the Father, neither can His followers, those living in Christ's light and life, know anything except Christ.  There is no compromise in the struggle of Christ's Kingdom.  What Christ says, and what Christ speaks, even now through the mystery of His Church, is eternal life.  My prayer is commitment to that believing, seeing, and to that light.

(Feast of St. Mark, the Evangelist; meditation on the weekday Easter Gospel)

John 13.16-20
To pray always is to be conscious that every aspect of my waking life is mission.  I am one sent by another.  I am on a mission.  The periods of silent and vocal prayer vary.  But sooner or later I must depart from the act of prayer and take up the mission of being sent among others and events.  My prayer is Trinitarian:  I pray with the Son to the Father in the Spirit.  My mission is Trinitarian.  I am sent by the Father in the Spirit to be the Son among others.  And their receiving me is receiving the Father, and thus the cycle is complete.  I am sent to be received by others: To extend love to others and to receive love from others.  It is reciprocal.  It is Trinitarian.  In this commerce of mission,  betrayal can happen.  I am betrayed and I betray.  So in the mission there must be repentance, mercy,  and redemption.  From mission I return to prayer so that I may be redeemed.  Prayer begins with an attitude of repentance as does the Liturgy: “Brethren: Let us acknowledge our sin ….”.  Prayer then becomes the process of redemption.  Redemption through mercy is the ultimate goal of mission.

John 14.1-6
Jesus points first to God:  “You believe in God.”  Then He points to himself:  “You believe in me. “ Or as another version puts it:  Believe in God and believe in me.  Our spiritual life is centered on God Who was revealed first through Israel.  The hidden God who spoke first to Israel and revealed Himself as a living Person is beyond all comprehension and is more present and loving than the God of philosophers.  But from the God of Israel we have the Person of Jesus.  In Jesus in all the fullness of his humanity, we have God present, the Son Incarnate.  In Jesus we come to the Father through the Spirit.  In the Father we find Jesus as Son and the Holy Spirit, God, one with the Father.  We arrive at the Trinity, the fullness of the Revelation from God.  And so, our prayer consists in this movement from one Person to the other in the Trinity.  We start at any point of living faith.  We start from the mystery of God or from the historic reality of Jesus and his living word within the Church.  Or we start from the hiddenness of God leading us into Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  But our prayer always returns to the simplicity of the Trinitarian life within the Oneness of God in Himself.  We return to rest in our participation in Triune relationship and the working out of our relationships with others with the same love that is in God.  In the end we are where Jesus in His humanity dwells and where He has prepared a place for us in the Father.
John 14.7-14
"Show us the Father."  Immersed in the Scriptural  Word of Jesus we begin to see the Father.  Look into the face of Jesus and you will see the Father.  Look into the Church which is the face of the Holy Spirit and you find Jesus so through him you can come to the Father.  In the Father, look into the eternal mystery of the Son and the Holy Spirit with the Father in the unity of the Godhead.    "Ask anything in my name."  Ask for union with the Persons of the Holy Trinity.  Pray that God's work be done in you.  Sit still and silent as God works in you.  That is your prayer.  Sit still in the Work of God.  And all the other moments of your day, let every word and action be the Work of God.  This is the Paschal Gift.  Your life is hidden with Christ in God.  “Seek therefore the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father” (cf. Colossians 3: 1-3).

William Fredrickson, OBLSB, D.Min.






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William Fredrickson