THE TABLE OF THE LORD: Being a penitent Lay Cistercian

If you wish to love Christ as He loved us, you must be a penitential person. How you that depends on your capacitas dei (capacity for God) and listening with the ear of your heart (St. Benedict in the Prologue to the Rule).

This blog is the first of four parts about the Table of the Lord. It is the first leg of my table.

My Table of the Lord has four legs and a top, like all functional tables. The four legs are:

  • Ways to Pray the Seven Penitential Psalms (Being a Penitent Lay Cistercian)
  • Eucharistic Energy (Consuming Pure Energy as a Eucharistic Lay Cistercian)
  • Lectio Divina (A Lay Cistercian practices silence, solitude, work, prayer, and community each day)
  • Church Universal confronts the “residue of sin” each day on the journey to parousia (A Lay Cistercian lives the signs of contradiction in the struggle to move from false self to having the mind of Christ Jesus) Philippians 2:5

Now to confuse you, even more, this first leg, developing a penitential perspective, has seven different blogs, corresponding to the seven penitential psalms. My Lectio Divina meditation centered around how I could do Lectio (oratio, meditatio, oratio, meditatio, and Pope Benedict XVI’s addition, actio). This is the first of those seven Lectio Divina sessions that I share with you for your penitential, contemplative practice.

I share with you not only what I did but HOW I did it. USCCB has a wonderful audio version of both The Penitential Psalms and Songs of the Suffering Servant. I plan on doing one of these each day, in addition to my other Lay Cistercian practices.

  1. Reading full Psalm at least three time:
  2. One time just listen to the Psalm. Get the flavor of the Psalm.
  3. Second time, read it very slowly, line by line. Pick out three ideas that you want to remember. You may wish to write them down.
  4. Third time, get inside the mind of the Psalmist. What does he feel that he would make such a Psalm with so beautiful examples of penitence. Read the




As I sit on this park bench in the middle of winter, waiting for my mind to show up to be near the heart of Christ, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that you would count me worthy to be called a friend and more than that, an adopted son (daughter)of the Father. Lord, I am not worthy that you come under my roof. Only say the word, and my soul will be healed.

Glory (Thanks) be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was and who will be at the end of the ages. Amen-Cistercian doxology

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