Meditation

Commentary on Section/Meditation 61
From Thomas Traherne’s book “Centuries of Meditations”
By Reverend Friar Leonard Edward Schmidt, OFE
 
When we contemplate the cross, we may receive the inspiration that brings up the topic of zeal, holiness, or self-denial, etc. If we achieve this insight of a connected value to the cross, we are then happy, full of felicity.
 
Jesus gave an example of living out his zeal in doing the will of his Father through his obedience to substitute the sacrifice of animals (the Covenant of Moses) with the eternal sacrifice on the cross. In other words, creating a second Covenant – a Covenant of Jesus. The Covenant of Jesus was wider-reaching than the sacrifice of animals. For example, the sin offering was offered for individual sin while the sacrifice of Jesus atoned for the sins of the entire world.
 
Jesus also was holy because he was obeying the will of his Father.  He achieved holiness by his act of self-denial. In other words, he denied himself by refusing to escape his suffering.
 
We can apply the same procedure of connective thoughts to the remaining words starting with “patience” and ending with “thanksgiving” in Section/Meditation 61.
 
Taking another three virtues: modesty, perseverance, and thanksgiving, we can see how Jesus lived these out in his life. With modesty, he had to reveal to the disciples his role as the Son of God, but it needed to be done in a way that they would be ready for. They would not have been able to accept all the teachings at one time without the proper preparation as well as the graces they received over time. Jesus persevered with them throughout his time on earth, and taught them the importance of persevering through many challenges. This, of course, leads to success in the outcome of our undertakings which ultimately results in thanksgiving! We can be thankful for the graces which allow for perseverance and up with happiness.
 
Similarly, the rest of Traherne’s words in this paragraph can be connected to the cross felicitously by attaining the joy of understanding.
 
(Cf. United In Spirit: OFE Newsletter, January 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 1​)
 
Notes: Thomas Traherne (ca. 1636-1674) was an Anglican priest, a mystic, an English poet and religious writer. Christian Classics Ethereal Library Intern Andrew Hanson concluded, “God displays his power in the immensity, complexity, and beauty of his    creation. Thomas Traherne, in his Centuries of Meditations, showcases his deep love for God’s creative powers. The poetry in Centuries has a childlike humility in the face of God’s glory. While living at a time where God’s wrath and humanity’s sin were the main topics of theological conversation, Traherne writes poetry that looks at the beauty of God and His goodness. His poetry is not just good Christian poetry, but good poetry that is appreciated by Christian and secular poetry lovers alike.”