Lectio Divina On (Matthew 6 : 31 – 34)   Leave a comment

Introduction

This series is my Lectio Divina, or Divine Reading series, in this series I am going to present to you the reader my experiences with applying Lectio Divina to certain scripture excerpts. Lectio Divina is called Divine Reading for a reason; for it is more contemplative then the typical and casual reading that most people do in a busy day. Divine Reading is meant to speak to your whole being rather than solely the intellectual part of your being. Certain excerpts are large, so they were broken up into smaller pieces to respect the key contemplative aspect of this ancient practice; these are the notes which I made in light of each Lectio Divina reading. I used the Orthodox Study Bible for Reading and for its commentary on scriptural entries in order to begin the first and move into the second part of the process.

Matt 6:31-32

“Be not solicitous therefore, saying: What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things the heathens seek. For your Father knows that you have need of all these things.”

According to The Orthodox Study Bible the Commentary reads for this section, “Because, the Gentiles served Pagan idols, they remained consumed by dependence on earthly things. Those who lead a life with God however are meant to be free of this dependence.”

Upon meditation of this section the message is clear, the God who formed us in His Image and Likeness gave us desires and it would be an insult to God to not think that He doesn’t know that we have desires. Therefore, the only thing that we should do is focus solely on the Unity of God, rather than the Multiplicity of Creation. In focusing on developing a relationship with the Unity of The Creator God we are in a better position to actually be at peace when we see all good and all bad coming from Him and seeing our desires and aspirations manifest in the way in which God Himself wished to give it to us. However, to focus on actually making manifest specific multiplicity which will get us confused and feeling swamped and eventually fall into despair as well, the finished product or the finished reception of our desire (if it is manifested at all) could very well be found wanting and unimpressive.

Having said this, we can now see that dependence on things physical for our happiness and livelihood will only make us anxious people. It came to me even in the Lectio practice that perhaps I too am subtly being tempted by a Neo-Pagan/Modernist Worldview, how so? Quite simply, I feel like as if I need my wants to be satisfied or else my life will be one of frustration, sadness and suffering. Now nowhere does Christ condemn thoughtful planning, but He makes awfully clear that if our plans do not conform to His Eternal Plans then whatever we do will inevitably shrivel and die. Therefore, we must be ever vigilant to make sure we identify with Christ, rather than the Culture, for Christianity is the Eternal Counter-Cultural Movement and currently the Larger Culture with its emphasis on Materialism, Superficiality, Obsessive Sexualization, and overall Impatience and Arrogance is something we need to shield our Heart against lest we too get caught up in the maelstrom of frustration and poorly manifested desires.

Matt 6:33-34

“Seek therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.”

According to The Orthodox Study Bible the Commentary reads for this section, “The Kingdom of God is always central to Christ teachings, when Christ speaks of ‘His Righteousness’ Christ is speaking of The Sermon on the Mount itself. Calling us to be detached from anxiety over earthly things, Christ calls us to Value the Kingdom of Heaven first through the Sermon on the Mount Teachings, secure in the Intuitive Trust that God will provide for [needed] earthly blessings.”

In the end our only concern should be to contemplate and understand The Sermon on the Mount especially with regard to The Beatitudes, as you go through time and space, the desires of your Heart will come to pass in a manner that is fitting a life that is participating with, in, and through God. As I was contemplating this part of the Scripture I was presented with an example in my mind’s eye,

“When I was younger before I returned into the Mainstream Christian Fold, let alone the Catholic Fold, I found myself caught up in Heterodoxy and yet I went to a Non-Denominational Church for Fellowships sake and befriended people at or around my age, they were good people unfortunately I fell out of contact with them, but only a couple of months after coming back Sacramentally into Catholicism I found myself befriending a wide range of Traditionalist Catholics in my area for the same reason, Fellowship.”

What is my point? My point is in having been tied to God, in participating in my own limited way, with and through God in my own limited way, and desiring only to be in the Right form of Worship with God, I lost something I cherished and God (upon returning to a more fuller expression of Participation with God) restored to me something of a more refined desire, namely Fellowship with People of a Like-mind. Now this restoration was made manifest through a participation metaphysic, namely I sought God first and once God was allowed to be First then I also sought the people who I thought had Fellowship Potential, God actualized that Potential in the form of a few families and individuals of Traditionalist Catholics who come from varying backgrounds and ages.

Finally we must realize that Goals, Desires, and Aspirations Take Time To Manifest, as Christ says, Today has its own problems, so do not worry about tomorrow. We must take comfort in the fact that massive projects, desires, goals, and aspirations do not need to be completed in one day, each day helps us to build upon the most Godliest Manifestation of the Longings of Our Heart and we shouldn’t feel tempted to get everything done in one day. Therefore, before we begin any undertaking and after we have prayerfully and honestly discerned that God is with us behind a goal or aspiration, we ought to make a prayer for Patient Long-Suffering to take us over, so that we will not be overcome by anxiety which will only make us doubt, and lose faith, which will only make us re-enter into a vicious cycle of frustration and an incomplete manifestation of desires.

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