Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
September 14, 2009
Pope stresses role of daily meditation
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
VATICAN CITY - People need to carve time out of their busy day to dedicate to silent prayer or meditation in order to hear what God has to say, said Pope Benedict.
The faithful also have to remember not to become completely caught up in their daily activities and concerns, forgetting that Jesus should be the focus of their lives, he said at his weekly general audience Sept. 9.
The pope focused his catechesis on the life of St. Peter Damian, an 11th-century monk, cardinal and doctor of the Church.
St. Peter Damian maintained that an austere, secluded life in a cloister is "the apex of Christian life" because it allows one to be free from the ego and from worldly concerns, said the pope.
Monastic life offers an important lesson to all Christians - that it is important to learn how to achieve an inner silence in order to listen to God's voice, he said.
The faithful must take time out of their day to seek out a quiet place, "a sort of sitting parlour, where God can speak to us," he said.
One can learn God's word and the right path to take in life through quiet prayer and meditation, he said.
St. Peter Damian taught that Christ must be at the centre of monastic life; Christ must be heard in one's voice, be served in one's life and felt in one's heart, said the pope.
All Christians, not just contemplative religious, must cultivate this intimate union with Christ, Pope Benedict said.
"We shouldn't let ourselves be completely absorbed by our daily activities, problems and worries, forgetting that Jesus must truly be at the centre of our lives," he said.