Sunday Reflection – 11 August – The Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”…John 6:34-35
“The soul’s bread is Christ, “the living bread that came down from heaven” (Jn 6:51) who gives food to His own, by faith here and by vision in the world to come. For Christ dwells in you by faith and faith in Christ, is Christ in your heart (Eph 3:17). The measure of your faith in Christ is the measure of your possession of Him.
… In this gift I have received, I possess Christ wholly and Christ wholly possesses me, just as the member belonging to the whole body likewise possesses the body in its entirety. And so this portion of faith you have received as your share, is like the morsel of bread in your mouth. But unless you often devoutly meditate over what you believe, unless you chew over it, so to speak, moving it about and turning it over with your teeth, that is to say with your spiritual senses, it will never enter your throat, in other words it won’t get as far as your understanding.
For indeed, how could you understand anything that you reflect over only rarely and carelessly, especially when it concerns something subtle and unseen?… So, by means of meditation, let “the Law of the Lord be ever on your lips” (Ex 13:9) so that a sound understanding may be brought to birth within you. Through a good understanding, spiritual food passes into your heart, so that you will not neglect what you have understood but will lovingly reflect over it.”
Guigo II the Carthusian “the Angelic” (?-1188)
9th Prior of the Grande Chartreuse
(Meditation 10 (SC 163, p. 181 rev.)
Guigo II is considered the first writer in the western tradition to consider stages of prayer as a ladder which leads to a closer mystic communion with God. The work was among the most popular of medieval spiritual works (in part because it commonly circulated under the name of the renowned Bernard of Clairvaux or even Augustine), with over one hundred manuscripts surviving. It was also translated into some vernacular languages, including into Middle English.
It is still a basic guide for those who wish to practice lectio divina.
Guigo II also wrote twelve Meditations, which were clearly less widely known as they survive in only a few manuscripts. From internal evidence, it appears they may have been written before the Scala Claustralium.