Meditation in the Christian traditions consists of focusing on a particular spiritual subject and seeking to understand it.
Christianity has a long history of meditation, one that has been perfected by many saints over the centuries. However, many Christians still ask today how meditation fits within their religion.
How does a Christian engage in meditation?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church dedicates several paragraphs to Christian meditation and explains it as a method of prayer focused on a particular thought or spiritual theme.
Meditation is above all a quest. The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking. the required attentiveness is difficult to sustain. We are usually helped by books, and Christians do not want for them: the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts of the day or season, writings of the spiritual fathers, works of spirituality, the great book of creation, and that of history the page on which the “today” of God is written. (CCC 2705)
Meditation may be described as a type of reflecting, during which one ruminates on the truths of life and discovers their personal role in God’s plan.
St. Francis de Sales offers this brief description of Christian meditation in his book Introduction to the Devout Life.
When walking in a beautiful garden most people are wont to gather a few flowers as they go, which they keep, and enjoy their scent during the day. So, when the mind explores some mystery in meditation, it is well to pick out one or more points that have specially arrested the attention, and are most likely to be helpful to you through the day, and this should be done at once before quitting the subject of your meditation.
Reading the Gospels or some other spiritual book can be a helpful form of meditation, as it often provides numerous spiritual topics that your mind can meditate on.
Above all, Christian meditation consists of filling the mind with spiritual thoughts, inviting God to reveal to you more about himself and your own place in this world.
Is prayer the same as meditation?