Christian Meditation is the process of consciously focusing on specific words, phrases, and or thoughts and thinking about them. The intent is to increase ones closeness and or understanding of God.
Historically, the word meditate came from Hebrew passages in the Bible’s Old Testament. The words ‘haga’ and ‘siha” meant to think about, to concentrate or to rehearse in the mind. These words were then translated into the Greek work ‘melete’, which incorporated the emphasis and use of the human heart when thinking or concentrating in the mind.
The word ‘melete’ then becomes translated into its Latin form ‘meditatio’, which in turn becomes meditate in English.
The word meditate is found approximately 25 times, mostly in the Old Testament’s Book of Psalms.
In the 12th Century, a monk named Guigo II, described the use of meditation for Christians as a way to obtain a closer relationship with God. He suggested that this relationship should be a four step process.
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This process begins with:
1.) Bible reading, or hearing the word of God , ‘something spiritual’, which in turns leads to:
2.) Thinking about what was said and or heard, its significance and reflecting (the meditation component),
[These 2 stages, as Guigo saw it, lead to prayer, the 3rd stage]
3.) Prayer, which then leads to the last component;
4.) Total contemplation on God. Which some might presently view as being a deeper form of meditation.
Since Guigo II, various saints and historical figures approached, carried out, and suggested different forms of meditation. We will attempt to site some of these in the future.
Today various forms of meditation exist. However, some are not considered acceptable by Christian standards. For example in 2003, the Vatican announced that “the Church avoids any concept that is close to those of New Age.”
Christian Meditation is very different from eastern styles of meditation and is not to be confused where individuals rely on repeating ‘mantras’, (a repeated syllable or word or phrase), over and over to reach a state of enlightenment.
New Age meditation is not to be confused with Christian Meditation. This form of meditation is a cross between “self awareness” and “reflection” and compiling Western ideas with traditional eastern religions and philosophies. Its roots are traceable to Hinduism, Taoism, Neopagan and Gnostic traditions.
Suggestions for things to meditate on can be found in the Bible: in Philippians chapter 4, verse 8; where in the New International version it states:
“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy; think about such things.”