St. Francis’ Conception of the Inward Power of Meditation

Bradley DiTeresi

Bradley DiTeresi

An established presence in the Kansas City entrepreneurial sphere, Bradley DiTeresi maintains a strong focus on faith in his daily life. A particular habit for Bradley DiTeresi is reading the works of Catholic doctors of the church, including St. John of the Cross and St. Francis de Sales.

One of the key facets of St. Francis’ faith was an emphasis on meditation in broadening his spiritual perspective. A key distinction is made between meditation and prayer. While meditation often occurs in prayer, it is not the act of praying itself. As St. Francis defined the practice in his seminal work Treatise on the Love of God, “Every meditation is a thought, but every thought is not meditation.”

St. Francis explains that while thoughts may be carried out attentively, they are free-flowing and without design, with no particular lesson drawn from them. Even academic study, which examines a thing with attention to its qualities, effects, and causes, does not cross the bridge into meditation.

As St. Francis viewed it, meditation occurs when divine things are thought of not simply for learning’s sake, but in order to find ways of loving them. This involves “turning and doubling my thoughts within my heart by an attentive consideration” in ways that find compassion and God’s love. Meditation is thus a digging deeply into a specific aspect of the spiritual and finding a gift that transcends earthly knowledge.

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