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Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Journaling with Sharon: Lenten Pondering

 By: Sharon Nelsen

Pondering leads to performance. 
Performance does not take us always to understanding, knowing, holding onto the revelations we receive.  Sometimes we rush into things and then wonder afterwards if what we did was the Father's
Will or our own inclination.

Mary pondered the word in her heart.  Her response, her action, her performance flowed out of that process and bore fruit.

I pray:  Dear Mary, teach me how to ponder the word of God.
And I ask:
What are the elements of pondering?

1)      Listening, which requires
- hearing
- being open to the “message” --that which stirs my heart
- concentrating on that message long enough to recall it

2)      Repeating the message to myself until it is part of my long-term memory
- as I go about my daily tasks
- writing it down AND re-reading it

3)      Savoring the message
- in a quiet place set aside
- repeat, repeat, repeat until I “taste” the words
- connect its message, its meaning to my present situation

4)      Acting on the message
-praying for confidence
-discerning choices
-proceeding in trust

In the January issue of “Give us This Day,”  there was a quote from Maisie Ward, co-founder of Sheed and Ward Publishing, that spoke to me about pondering:

“It is the chief characteristic of a life lived for God 
that there is time in it for everything that matters.”

Pondering matters.  I decided to focus on pondering for Lent, which fit well with the “Exercise in Love” that was already included in my Lenten journey.   Perhaps the Lord had more for me to ponder? 

With that in mind, I re-read each entry in my January journal.  I became aware that particular phrases really moved me as I re-read.  I decided to collect them into Lenten pondering, mindful that God will not overburden me.  I also trust  that God will lead me to a particular item on the list as I am faithful to this forty day exercise, so I am not concerned about the sequence as I recorded it.


1. Pray for constancy.

2. To experience “Boundless Love” (St. Catherine of Siena's phrase), turn to God
- in my loneliness
- when I feel overwhelmed
- in my deepest desires

3. “We have this confidence in Him, that if we ask anything according to His Will, He hears us.” (1John 5.14 NAB) “And this is the confidence which we have toward God: that no matter what we shall request, in accord with his will, he hears us.” (NRSV)

4. May my worldly wants decrease and God's desires for me increase.

5. “Listen for the truth of a thing and obey what makes your heart more human.” 
(Joan Chittister, OSB)

6. Constantly trust in God's Goodness, in God, Goodness Itself.

7. No one can walk your path for you.

8. “Exercise in Love.”

            If you are so inclined, ask the Holy Spirit  to assist you in making your own Lenten Pondering List  from the words that seem to keep coming back to you, stand out a little, bring comfort, move you in some way.

            We have a great model and a loving companion for our Lenten Journey:
Dear Mary, 

Teach us how to ponder God's word to us.
Be with us so that with you, 
We may be blessed,
Believing what we hear,
And acting upon it.


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