Pondering Holy Scripture is one of the main wonders of the spiritual life, and a source of wisdom and encouragement.
The most fundamental way is, of course, simply by reading or reciting the Biblical text as such - as part of our daily ‘rule’, besides listening to the readings in the church services, and as a profitable way to spend a little ‘lost time’.
Some words are so inspiring, that we would wish remind ourselves again and again. Hence the practice of writing out and illuminating Bible verses - to hang on our walls, or to use as a bookmark.
See the series ‘Just Quotes’- added among ‘Ponderings’ >> see the index below
But there are many ways in which we can ‘ponder in our heart’ (cf. Lk.2:19) – especially if we are already familiar with the Scriptures.
Not in a vacuum
Characteristic of all such ways is the fact, that none of this happens in a vacuum:
On the one hand, we ponder His word in the context of the life of the Church through all the ages. That is, of the tradition – literally: the handing over, that is, passing on – through which we have received this precious inheritance.
Not because of any ‘tradition of men’, against which our Lord has warned us. But, as Elder Sophrony has pointed out, when we seek for instruction in the spiritual life we direct ourselves, naturally, to those that already know Christ and can tell us more about life in Him.
Therefore, in our pondering on the Biblical word, we also refer to words from such living witnesses of the reality of God’s grace – in our own time and from times past. To learn from their wisdom and experience: how to live, in order to find and to keep it.
In these last times
On the other hand, all our pondering happens within the reality of our life on earth. And that includes the times in which we live – recognized by many, including the holy Elders of our days, as rushing towards the end, although we know ‘neither the day nor the hour’ (Mt.25:13).
Some of our ponderings, therefore, will touch on the hard but inescapable reality of the tribulation we will all face - in one way or another - when we truly try to follow in His steps.
In all this, the Fathers teach us that is it most profitable, to try ‘living by a single thought’. And Abba Isaac the Syrian urged us to concentrate on increasing our inspiration, not simply the number of pages we read: ‘not ... to count milestones, but to enter the bridal chamber’. Thus we may read and ponder, each at our own pace – even just one ‘word’ at the time.
This section is still in development. New material is added seasonally. One page may contain several items. For the complete index >> see below.
NB: Content of Atelier sections may vary between the languages.