Meditation is a personal and intimate conversation with God. It is meant to enlighten and strengthen, in your heart and soul, your decision to identify with the purpose of your life: God’s holy will. It is a renewal from God that should encompass your principles, emotions, motivations, and decisions.
As you begin your meditation, call on the Holy Spirit in faith. Remember that he is “the sweet guest of the soul,” and that however much you strive to become holy and be an apostle, you will achieve nothing solid or lasting without him.
Put your whole self (your intelligence, will, emotions, imagination, feelings, problems, weaknesses, interests, longings, etc.) into your prayer so that these moments of personal contact with God will bear fruit in your daily life and lead to a continuous renewal of your principles, motivations, and decisions.
One form of meditation is known as discursive affective prayer. In it you reflect on an idea or fundamental principle so as to understand it more deeply and make it your own. It is not simply a mental exercise, but rather a reflection from the heart on the mystery of your own life, done in the light of faith and from God’s perspective. The deeper understanding this gives you should lead you to want to become one with God, express your love for him, thank him for his gifts, ask for his help, recognize that you are a sinful creature, and give yourself trustingly to him. This culminates in conversion of heart – that is, the decision to live from now on in accordance with the truth you have considered in God’s light.
Another form of mental prayer is contemplation. In it you take a mystery or an event in the life of Christ or the Blessed Virgin, or in salvation history; you contemplate it (observe the people, listen to their words, consider their actions) and its implications for your own life, allowing the movement of grace to stir your heart and move your will toward giving yourself and imitating what you have contemplated.
Or finally, prayer may involve all of the above elements: discursive, affective, and contemplative.
Your choice of one or other of these forms of prayer will depend on the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and the needs of your soul, always under the guidance of your spiritual director.
It is not enough to reflect or contemplate. Meditation is above all an attentive, loving conversation with God. Accordingly, it is necessary to learn to listen to God in the silence of your soul and to open your heart to him in a conversation full of faith and love, entering into personal and sanctifying contact with God. Here, under the light and power of the Holy Spirit, your will is conformed to God’s, and the decisions that ought to direct your life emerge.
Begin your meditation by invoking the Holy Spirit.