By meditation I mean prolonged reasoning with the understanding, in this way. We begin by thinking of the favour which God bestowed upon us by giving us His only Son; and we do not stop there but proceed to consider the mysteries of His whole glorious life.
Or we begin with the prayer in the Garden and go on rehearsing the events that follow until we come to the Crucifixion.
Or we take one episode of the Passion—Christ’s arrest, let us say—and go over this mystery in our mind, meditating in detail upon the points in it which we need to think over and to try to realize, such as the treason of Judas, the flight of the Apostles, and so on.
“By meditation I mean prolonged reasoning with the understanding… this is an admirable and a most meritorious kind of prayer.” (St. Teresa of Avila) #HolyWeek #CarmeliteQuotesTweet
This is the kind of prayer I was referring to which those whom God has raised to supernatural things and to perfect contemplation are right in saying they cannot practise. As I have said, I do not know why this should be the case; but as a rule they are in fact unable to do so.
A man will not be right, however, to say that he cannot dwell upon these mysteries, for he often has them in his mind, especially when they are being celebrated by the Catholic Church; nor is it possible that a soul which has received so much from God should forget all these precious signs of His love, for they are living sparks which will enkindle the soul more and more in its love for Our Lord.
Saint Teresa of Avila
The Interior Castle
Sixth Dwelling Place
Chapter 7, Nos. 10–11
Teresa of Avila, St. 1963, The Complete Works of St. Teresa of Jesus, Vol. II, translated from the Spanish by Peers, E, Sheed and Ward, New York.