Joseph Kreydt

Catholic. Writer.

Among the many beautiful traditions handed down through the Catholic faith, we have meditation and contemplation. In fact, these processes are traditional to many human cultures. One might call them universal. In recent times, even scientists have adopted and studied the effects of meditation and contemplation.

Unfortunately, the two processes are often misunderstood or wrongly defined. Misunderstanding leads to untruth. Untruth is the opposite of Christ who is “the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) The opposite of Christ is the Antichrist, spiritual tragedy, Hell.

If we want to practice meditation and contemplation in truth, then we must know what each one is.

The outcomes of many prayers, rites, and sacramentals, of the Church depend on the practitioner knowing the meaning of and understanding their words. For example, the process for praying Lectio Divina includes a meditation piece and also a contemplation piece. Mixing up the definitions of those two words significantly changes how Lectio Divina is prayed. This could result in further misunderstandings and unexpected outcomes.

For those reasons, I am compelled to define meditation and contemplation, and explain why the definitions I provide are their true definitions.