Mental PrayerTheology

Definition of Redemption

We will begin by defining what Redemption really is. 

We will come to recognise that to redeem means to buy back and co-redeem means to co-operate in redeeming.   

We will then see how  St Raymond, by God’s will and grace, co-operated in Redemption. 

Following this we will take a quick look at 

The fall and the Promise and 

The Great Reset. 

We will then follow St Teresa of Avila steps for Mental Prayer  while we offer ourselves as co-operators, in the redemption of our fellow man  

The word redemption means the act of buying back again.

In the past it was commonly used to describe the buying back of slaves out of captivity.

Forth Vow “of Redemption”

For instance Saint Raymond who lived in 1225  took four religious vows. 

Whereas most religious took the three vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, Saint Raymond took a forth vow.

This Forth Vow, was called “of redemption”. 

He devoted himself to freeing the Christians enslaved by Muslims.  He and his Religious Order offered their goods in exchange for the Christian prisoners.  Often when money ran out, members of the order would take the place of prisoners. 

St Raymond and his Mission of Redemption

On a mission to Algiers in 1236 Saint Raymond was in the unfortunate position of having no money left and so offered himself in exchange for the prisoners freedom.  

Now, As Jesus stood in our place to Redeem us back from satan and make us worthy of  coming into the kingdom of heaven, Saint Raymond stood in the place of the Christian to redeem them back from the Muslims.   

It is recorded that Saint Raymond looked upon his imprisonment as an opportunity to preach the gospel to the Muslim guards.  His success in the number of converts and those seeking Baptism were seen as a dangerous threat to the Muslim authorities.  

To stop Saint Raymond Proselytising,  the Muslims, bored a hole through his lips and padlocked them shut.  For about nine months he suffered this except when he was freed to eat every third day.

Saint Raymond paid this ransom for the sake of the souls of the Christians who on many occasions broke under the torture they endured and gave up their faith.  

Saint Raymond’s mission helps us better understand the correlation between Christians as co-redeemer and Christ as Redeemer.  

  We have already had some indication of the sort of captivity into which man fell as a result of his sin. He had become subject to satan he was a captive of satan. He was the slave of sin, reduced by his own act to a condition from which he wasn’t able by his own act to free himself. 

Very much like a fly caught in a spiders web.

Mankind was in a sense in servitude to God because by sin he had incurred the debt of punishment which divine justice required to be paid. 

The deliverance of man from his double slavery by the payment of the appointed price is what we call “Redemption.”

The word atonement describes an act which makes amends for an offence committed.   “atonement” was used a lot in the old testament when describing rules and regulations for making a sacrifice for sin.  In numbers 28 verses 15 and 22 we read:

“A buck goat also shall be offered to the Lord for a sin offering over and above the perpetual holocaust with its libations.  And one buck goat for sin, to make atonement for you,”                       

So Let’s look at the first sin: 

The First Sin

A man and a woman Adam and Eve, having been joined together in the ruin of humanity by original sin, it was God’s design that a Man and  Women should be concerned together in its restoration to grace.  

The Man who redeemed us is the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ; and the Woman who was with Him in His work, is Mary, His Mother.

Eve was born pure and holy but sinned six thousand years later came

The New Eve is the name given to Our Lady to describe Her place in human history.

The Great Reset: The New Eve and The Incarnation

Christ redeemed the human race by His Passion and Death, in the sense that by His superabundant merit and atonement He reconciled man with God and made salvation possible for humanity.  

This, Jesus was able to do, because as the Word Incarnate, He is the supernatural head of the human race.  Jesus’ merit and atonement are available  for all men who are mystically identified with Him.  

With His death on the cross Jesus concluded the first part of His redemptive work.  This stage is identified by Catholic scholars as

 “the phase of acquisition.”  

Having risen glorious from the dead and ascended into heaven, Jesus continues to the end of time to save men’s souls. 

He intercedes with the Father on our behalf and dispenses to us through His sacred Humanity the gifts of grace which He has earned.  This is the second phase of Redemption, and is called by theologians: 

the phase of distribution.” 

So Jesus first “acquired” the grace of Redemption. Then secondly He “distributes” those graces to whoever asks for them or, and this is important, whoever asks on behalf of someone else.  

Remember when Jesus was on earth how many people asked for miracles on behalf of loved ones or friends.  

Victim Souls and The Redemptive Power of Human Suffering

“A victim soul is an individual who has been chosen by God to undergo physical, and sometimes spiritual, suffering beyond that of normal human experience. The victim soul willingly accepts this unique and difficult mission of offering up his or her pains for the salvation of others.”⁠1 

Jesus suffered torture, crucifixion and death to pay the redemption price for our sins but He also said

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” (Mk8.34)                                                                                                                                                       

 St Paul tell us in his letter to the Romans chapter 8 verse 17 that we are: 

“heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with him.”  

So scripture clearly states that we are part of redemption not just as those redeemed but also as co-redeemers.  

Keep remembering redeem means to buy back and co-redeem means to co-operate in redeeming.  

Again we listen to St Paul in Col 1:4 

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” 

When St Paul says “In my sufferings for your sake” he is explaining how suffering takes on a redemptive dimension when offered with the passion of Jesus Christ.

When it looked as if Jesus lacked the strength to continue on His way to Calvary Simon of Cyrene helped and co-operated in the plan of Redemption. 

This was the Divine Will. 

Taken on its own  statement the other statement that Christ died on the cross once and for all would seem to contradict each other.  

But common sense shows us that there were many people involved in the “helping”  of Jesus to reach Calvary.  Indeed it was God’s plan that it should be that way.  From the Jewish leaders that condemned Him to death to Simon of Cyrene who helped Him carry His cross.  

Carmelite Meditation 7 Steps

Although 7 steps are a recognised method of Catholic meditation and mental prayer, there comes a time because of practice that the method become fluid and after the orientation of the presence of God the faithful soul moves back and forth in unison  with the will of God. In this way Mental prayer becomes what it is supposed to be: a loving conversation with the Creator.  

Natural feelings of Gratitude will be expressed at different points along the way with thanks here and there as the conversation with God expresses itself.  

The offering of the self is a natural “I will help you Lord with your mission to save souls”. Or  “From now on I will seek your will in everything. 

Step 1 

Enter the presence of God

Short exercise orientating the self in God.

To begin this special “set-aside” prayer time it is wise to have around you:  First of all silence. A lit candle, a crucifix  and perhaps a holy picture.  This sets the ambience but you should also have your meditation journal at hand. 

Your intention to open and honestly address your predominant fault before God is a prerequisite for a successful session of mental prayer.   So, what are you working on in order to become “perfect as your heavenly father is perfect” 

Of course the paraphernalia part is not necessary because someday you might have to do your meditation in a prison cell and so perhaps it would be a good idea (just for a few moments)  to close your eyes and memorise the quiet emotions this time apart with God invokes in you.  

With practice reaching this place within becomes automatic.

To enter the presence of God you just become aware of the TRUTH.   The truth that the Omnipresence of God means that He is present all around us. This is God’s world and He never leaves it, or it would cease to exist.

With closed eyes and imagination look down inside yourself and realise that God dwells within you.  

Silently without word, greet Him with love. 

With eyes still closed raise your head heavenward and acknowledge God already attentive to you.  Focus on Him.

Step 2 

The reading or piece to meditate upon

Two linked pieces: Colossians 1:24 & Mark 15:21; Matthew 27:32

Simon of Cyrene co-operating in Redemption

 In Matthew, it is said, “they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry the cross.

”Mark’s Gospel states, “they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry His cross.” Luke says, 

“And as they led Him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.” 

 In Matthew, it is said, “they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry the cross

St Paul to the Colossians

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church:” Col1:24

Read in Mark:  “And as they led him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country; and they laid the cross on him to carry after Jesus. [27] And there followed him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented him. [28] But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

And they forced one Simon a Cyrenian who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and of Rufus, to take up his cross.


Meditate and try to live in the meditation.  Meditate and examine with love how Jesus accepted  help from one of the very people who had caused His death by their sins.  

Realise that your predominant fault is one of those sins that Jesus is suffering for.  

That suffering of Christ on Calvary was once and for all. He is redeemer He does not share His p osition with anyone. 

Mental Prayer

But as you move into step 4 and meditation evolves into mental prayer see the risen Lord bathed in light and that light is encompassing you. 

Look Jesus has tears in His eyes He is looking past you at all the sinners in the world.  His heart is breaking for them.  Will you help  Him.  Will you help bring Christ’s redemptive graces to them. Will you co-operate in redemption?

Now only you and He can discuss this and with love.  This is the prayer of the heart. 

“Many souls are lost,” says Our Lady to the children at Fatima, “Because they have no one to pray for them.”

Now only you and He can discuss this and with love.  This is the prayer of the heart.