August 8, 2019
by Tom Lenz
Creighton University's School of Pharmacy
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest
Lectionary: 409

Numbers 20:1-13
Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Matthew 16:13-23
Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Praying As We Age

Today, in Matthew’s Gospel reading there are a few instances where Jesus talks with his disciples about how God communicates with them. The first is when he asks them, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Of course, the answer is something other than the Son of God. He then asks his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” They reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” To this Jesus tells Peter that the reason they know this to be true is because God has revealed it to them. They did not learn this from each other, but only through God.

This exchange between Jesus and his disciples got me thinking about how we get to know “things” through God. Recently, I have been trying to understand what it means to be a contemplative. As I begin to understand it, contemplation is simply a way of communicating with God. In order to do this, we must be open to God’s communication with us by being present in the moment, calming our minds to the distractions of the world, and by being reflective. St. Ignatius called it being a “contemplative in action” because he believed that God is continually communicating with us and through these communications he guides our actions.

So, how do we know when God is communicating with us? This is the question that easy to ask because we can sometimes be skeptical. But, when we are one with God and God is one with us in the moment, there is a feeling. This feeling is unique and sometimes difficult to describe. But it is wonderful and you know it comes from God.

The disciples of Jesus knew that he was the Son of God because they had that feeling that could only come from God. The feeling that God was communicating directly with each of them in a very personal way to let them know that Jesus was his son. This feeling is not one that comes from another person, but only from and through God. Learning how to be a contemplative has been amazing because I have come to understand that God is a living God and is with me at every moment of every day loving me and guiding my actions. My prayer for all of us is that we can be present and open to the everyday communications with God so that we can feel his love and guidance.

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