Foundational Meditations

Introduction to Foundational Meditations

  1. God, the Creator of All That Is
  2. God, the Intimate Guide for Your Life
  3. God, the Goal, Purpose and End of Your Life
  4. Sin of the Angels
  5. Sin of Adam and Eve
  6. The General Effects of Sin
  7. Introduction to Meditations Seven–Nine
  8. Personal Sin: In the Light of the Divine Sun
  9. Personal Sins of My Life
  10. Humiliation and Humility
  11. Death
  12. Judgment
  13. Hell

Notebook Exercises

Table of Contents

Featured Image: Reparation, by Lawrence O.P.

Introduction to Foundational Meditations

The meditations and exercises in this first section entitled “Foundational Meditations” are based on “Week One” in The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. The primary goal of these meditations is to overcome sin. However, before looking at the reality of sin, you should first ponder the “Principle and Foundation” of these exercises (Meditations 1–3) which will help you to commit yourself to a total surrender of your life to all that God wants to do in you so as to live for His glory alone. Without this foundational commitment, little or no good fruit will be born in subsequent weeks.

Meditations 4–12 will invite you to ponder the reality of sin. Though this can be difficult to do, growth in the Christian journey requires that you look deeply at the reality of sin in general, understand clearly your own sins in particular, and surrender yourself over to the one and only source of forgiveness and healing. Meditations 10–12 are labeled as “optional” because some may find that Meditations 4–9 are more than enough for your reflection on the reality of sin.

The meditations are meant to be successive, so each meditation will rely upon the previous ones as you enter deeper into prayer. Remain with each meditation until you sense that God has fully communicated to you all that He wants to say. If you need an entire holy hour for just one meditation, do not hesitate to use only that one meditation, pondering its content for as long as it bears fruit in your prayer. The goal is not to “get through” the meditations as one would read a book. The goal is to enter deeper and deeper into prayer and union with God.

Essential to these Foundational Meditations is a careful and thorough examination of conscience. Therefore, the examinations of conscience on the Seven Capital Sins and the Ten Commandments should be carefully and thoroughly used, especially during the “Weekly Examen” period. For some, this will easily be done within the context of each of the holy hours for the prescribed 15 minutes. However, for others it may not be as easy. If you find yourself struggling or coming to some deep realizations about your sin, don’t let that be a hindrance. If you only get through part of the examination and feel you have more than enough sin to handle for the moment, then end your examination with a prayer of thanksgiving and move on to the meditations for the day. It may be that you need to return to the examination over and over before “getting through it” in one peaceful sitting. Or, for some it may be useful to spend an entire holy hour on the examinations of conscience. Do what seems to work best for you, even if it is difficult to do.

For those using these meditations for a holy hour of adoration, a detailed suggested outline for the holy hour can be found at the beginning of Part Three.

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