(From the Book “The School of Prayer” by Olive Wyon)
Find a way that suits your temperament. To some extent the method you choose will depend upon the imagery which you normally use when thinking about any subject. Do you see things in your mind or do you hear words and sounds when you are thinking? Or do you tend to put everything into words which you say silently to yourself? A little self-examination will reveal the way your mind works most easily, and you can choose a way of meditation that will fit with your state of mind.
One practical point: unless you find it a distraction, use a note-book; for most of us writing helps to fix our attention and imprints our thoughts into our memory. (If you are an exceptionally visual person you may wish to draw or doodle).
A simple exercise; Choose an incident from one of the Gospels.
1) Pick out and write down all the people present in the scene.
2) Describe the scene: make it as visible as possible, till you can almost see and hear and feel the incident. Note how each person in the story acts and speaks and try to enter into their minds; make an effort to understand them; and see each one in relation to Jesus, the central figure in each scene.
3) Answer the following questions;
- What does this story teach me about God?
- What does this story teach me about myself?
- What does this story teach me about the will of God for me, and my life? (i.e. my attitude towards other people, my actual daily life?)
4) Turn what you have learned into a short, sincere prayer, in your own words, asking God to help you carry something of what you have seen into your daily life.
5) If you can pick out a word or phrase, from the passage in question, or a verse of a hymn or song, which sums up your meditation, carry it away with you. Write it down in a place you can find it again!