David Muyskens

READ : Luke 2:15-19

Mary treasured all these words and pondered them. (v. 19)

I like to read fast. I quickly scan through newspapers and magazines. I move as rapidly as I can through the books I have placed in the rack next to my reading chair. I feel guilty if I spend some time just pondering the words I’ve taken in. So much to read, so little time!

Contemplative reading is slow, with pauses for pondering. It takes time to let the words sink in. To follow the ancient way of lectio divina, or sacred reading, I must spend some time meditating on what God says to me. In contemplative prayer I am silent enough for the word to take root in my heart. I am quiet enough for the love of God to fill me. It takes time. In prayerful pondering I become aware of the stirrings of the Spirit within.

Steven Chase, professor of spirituality at Western Seminary, says the great Christian teacher of the 12th century, Richard of St. Victor, defined contemplation as “suspension in wonder over the many manifestations of divine wisdom” (Steven Chase, Contemplation and Compassion: The Victorine Tradition, Maryknoll, NY, Orbis Books, p. 149).

There are times when I need to slow down to ponder the wisdom of God’s Word, in wonder and awe.


Christ the Truth, help us make time to ponder what you are saying to us. Amen.