Meditation is Chewing Cud


William Storey wrote: In down-to-earth Hebrew, to meditate is to chew one’s cud.  Cattle proved a helpful image for the devout believer “whose delight is the law of the Lord and who ponders God’s law day and night” (Ps. 1).  The browsing cow nibbles constantly at the lush pasture and when it has filled its stomach lies down, regurgitates what it has gathered and chews “meditatively” on its cud until the cut is fully assimilated.

My favorite prayer contains the line to “mark, learn and inwardly digest” the scriptures, which I take means to meditate on it.  But maybe like me, you’re not good at what we traditionally may think is meditation.

The writer, Dorothy Day apparently wasn’t good at “meditating” either.  She writes: Because I am a woman involved in practical cares, I cannot give the first half of the day to these things but must meditate when I can, early in the morning and on the fly during the day.  Not in the privacy of the study- but here, there and everywhere- at the kitchen table, on the train, on the ferry, on my way to and from appointments and even while making supper or putting Teresa to bed.

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