The Comfort of the Shepherd: Parable Prayer & Meditation takes you on an introspective journey through thirty-three of Jesus's teaching stories from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Our working definition of a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
When you see Jesus's parables as stories that show God's love for humanity, they come to light for you. Jesus taught the way of Divine love by analogy that drew on everyday experiences.
Surrounding parable study with prayer and meditation I believe broadens our ability to benefit more from Jesus's parable lessons. How? Scripture grounds you in God's Word. Prayer grounds you in the goodness of God and provides a holy language to petition God to act on your behalf. Meditation provides the possibility of achieving union with God.
From the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dogmatic Constitution on Divine RevelationDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation: Second Vatican Council, Let them remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together.
From Enchiridion Indulgentiarum Enchiridion IndulgentiarumEnchiridion Indulgentiarum, 1968 edition, No. 50, A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who use Sacred Scripture for spiritual reading with the veneration due the word of God. A plenary indulgence is granted if the reading continues for at least one half hour. A plenary indulgence remits in full the temporal punishment incurred by a sinner. Works for me. How about you?
For those of you new to meditation, you meditate to quicken your mind and deepen your understanding. Meditation allows your spirit the time in stillness to hear God's messages for you. First time meditators may be amazed at what they can discover in their twenty minutes of sitting in silent stillness. Some of you may come to harvest the fruits of meditation more slowly. Be patient. Do your meditation with the intention to access your subconscious wisdom and enter into conversation with God.
In addition, you will find guidelines for both prayer and meditation practice in Chapter 1.
My format for each of the thirty-three parables includes:
* The Bible text with explanations of appropriate cultural and religious nuances
* Prayer thoughts, often with a poem from my in-process book Fortress of Faith Fortress of FaithFortress of Faith
* Meditation thoughts
* A Message from Jesus
* Affirmations to support your taking your learning to the next step into action
For those new to reading Scripture, you just may find some passages carve their mark indelibly into your spirit.