Christian Echo Meditation is something I sometimes utilize especially during Lent and when I wish to connect to Jesus during His passion. To my knowledge, I have not seen the concept in any recent publications, but it may very well exist as a practice with some of the saints and mystics. Hence I labeled it as “Echo” because the meditation, prayer and communication is an echo from the “present” throughout time. Echo meditation transcends time and in some ways allows one’s thoughts to become in essence a “time traveler”. One is able to send prayers in a precise moment in history for a struggling saint, or to offer Jesus Christ condolences in the exact moment of His grief.
For this to work, one must cease to think 3 dimensionally and realize how God recognizes time itself. Christian philosophy teaches that God exists outside of time. Classic Thomistic Metaphysics teaches that time is a creation of God and God does not adhere to a linear existence. Unlike Modernist philosophers who place God and time side by side, Christian philosophy emphasizes the eternal nature of the Holy Trinity. God exists in the moment encompassing past, present and future. Creation, on the contrary, is confined to the existence of a linear process involving past, present and future.
The moment the Incarnation occurred, God entered into time. The Hypostatic Union or the fusing of the Second Person’s Divine Nature with Jesus Christ’s Human Nature, placed the Logos within the time constraint of creation. As Divine, Jesus Christ was eternal, but as human, Jesus Christ was also subject to past, present and future. The Humanity of Jesus Christ permitted Him to love humanity within a reciprocal relationship as opposed to a relationship with an immutable Being unaffected in a personal way. Christ’s Human Nature hence permitted a mutual relationship between Creator and creation that involved a reciprocal sharing of emotion.
Remember, God as Divine loves, but He is also immutable and in a perfect state of existence. Hence, the change from one lesser state to another is impossible. Aquinas again teaches that God is immutable. This means God cannot change. God exists within a perfect state of being. He cannot change because anything altered would incur He was not already at the most perfect form of existence because He is God.
This begs the question how much can a Divine Being exist within a reciprocal relationship? Can a Divine Being share reciprocal emotional feelings that entail a relationship with temporal beings? Can a Divine Being feel slighted or emotional betrayed by a temporal being? The answer is no. God is not moved by appetites as human beings. In such a way He has an impassibility that could make Him appear void of emotion. While a Divine Being is perfectly formed and loves perfectly, the translation can become lost when interconnected with broken temporal creation; The issue is on the receiving end, not the Divine end. This is why some Modernist doctrines attempted to derail God’s immutable qualities and subject Him to time and interaction at a reciprocal level but these concessions damaged the idea of a Divine nature far more than it helped solve the emotional connection between Perfect Creator and imperfect creation.
The answer to the problem was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ as a human being permitted the reciprocal relationship and His Divinity retained the immutable essence of a Divine Being. Jesus Christ and the Hypostatic Union did not only solve the problem of humanity’s redemption, but also permitted God to love humanity in a reciprocal relationship. Of course Modernists could never accept the notion of a human also being Divine and rejected the Incarnation, but that is different discussion for another day.
What is relevant for the purpose of Echo Meditation is that Jesus Christ permitted Divinity to co-exist also within temporal time. Jesus Christ’s Divinity is hence a beacon in time to His temporal life that can be contacted at any moment in prayer. While in traditional meditation, one focuses on the life Christ LIVED on earth, Echo Meditation focuses on the life Jesus is LIVING on earth. In traditional meditation, one reflects on the past life of Christ and converses with the Risen Lord, in Echo Meditation, one does not reflect but lives and converses with Christ while He is alive and on Earth.
Utilizing the Divinity of Christ as a beacon, since Christ’s Divinity is eternal and senses past, present and future at once, one can speak to Christ’s humanity as well while He toiled on Earth. Jesus can hence hear one’s thoughts and prayers 2000 years in future while He carries out His Father’s will. Why is this important and how can Echo Meditation play a key role in one’s relationship with Christ?
Like all instruments, different types of instruments have different functions. Meditation and prayer also have different functions at different times. Echo Meditation is to enhance one’s relationship with Christ in other ways than mere past reflection. It permits one to walk with Christ and be there for Christ. It is a meditation of service and adoration. As Simon of Cyrene was so blessed to help Our Lord carry His cross, in Echo Meditation, one can also be present in Christ’s life. One is able to whisper the echoes of our love to Christ in the moments of His life. During Christ’s horrible desolation in the garden, one can remain with Him during His dark hour of prayer and whisper through time, words of love and encouragement. During Christ’s Passion, one can console our Lord as He is physically whipped, beaten, abused and nailed to the cross. Furthermore, one can stand at the cross and whisper through time, one’s love and words of encouragement to Christ and stay with Him the three hours He hangs from the cross.
Echo Meditation is in essence a meditation of discipleship and service. It is a meditation of sojourning where one can walk with Christ in His daily life and actually share in the moment as if a disciple. This does not dismiss reflective meditation and talking to our Lord in the present moment as He is Risen because again different meditations are meant for different goals and needs. Sometimes, however it is a beautiful thing to actually whisper and echo one’s sentiments to Christ as He lives His daily life. It is a way one can share the burden and comfort Christ’s humanity through His 33 year life on Earth. What better gift can one give the Lord, than to encourage His Humanity with praise and adoration during His earthly ministry when so many failed to understand or walked away? One can be voice of worship when others dismissed Him. One can be a voice of reparation when others were a voice of blasphemy. Our Lord, in that moment, can literally hear one’s support, adoration and love. One’s discipleship can be present while He lived.
I believe the miracle of the Stigmata is a manifestation of this deep connection not only with the Risen Lord but also the Lord when He existed on Earth. The Stigmata or sharing of Christ’s Wounds, experienced by such saints as St. Francis and St. Padre Pio miraculously displayed the wounds of Christ’s hands or feet. The nailed hands of Christ and the wounds were pieced upon these saints as a sign of solidarity and shared suffering. These were not wounds of the Risen Christ, but wounds shared with the suffering Christ. In this way, there is a historical connection that spans thousands of years between Christ and these souls. This connection was current and a literal sharING.
In Catholic theology, the Mass is also seen to be a portal connecting past and present in one moment. The Mass is seen as the same sacrifice of Calgary and since Christ’s blood paid the ransom of all sin past, present and future, eternally, then the sacrifice itself is an eternal sacrifice that is one and ongoing. In Catholic theology, The Mass opens the veil of time and allows its participants not to reflect on the death of Christ but to experience the same event but in an un-bloody manner. While not all Christians may adhere to this theology, it does point towards an idea that time and eternity can meet in prayer.
While this special connection in Echo Meditation can only occur with Jesus Christ since He is Divine as well as human, one can still offer prayers for things that have already occurred. Since God is eternal, one can pray for the comfort of the Blessed Virgin during Christ’s crucifixion, or one can pray for a favorite martyr or saint during their arrest and persecution. One can pray for graces to be afforded to someone in time of spiritual trouble who lived 300 years ago. Those prayers through their echo are seen by God in His eternal state and applied to the past itself. In one account, Padre Pio was once asked by others during prayer, who he was praying for, and Padre Pio responded, he was praying at the death bed of his great grandfather. The confused asked how could prayers aid one who has passed so long ago, and Padre Pio explained in similar fashion that prayers are eternal and can applied to any time or period.
St. Paul introduced to the Church the concept of the Mystical Body of Christ. The beauty of the Mystical Body of Christ, with Christ as its Head, as both Divine and Human, connects all souls, past, present and future in one love and one community. The souls Triumphant in Heaven, the souls Suffering, and the souls Militant on Earth can all help each other through prayer and mutual love. Through Christ and His Divinity prayers can be offered for each other throughout one’s temporal life and existence. The Souls in Heaven can watch over the Souls Militant on Earth, but the Souls Militant can offer prayers that transcend time for even those that came before oneself. In addition, all souls can pray for the Souls Suffering that they too may share in the life of Christ.
All are connected in time through the Eternal God and all are part of the Mystical Body of Christ, whether as part of His Church on Earth, or currently (as perceived by temporal time) with Him in Eternity. Humanity’s temporal existence is not forever and the process of time as known on Earth will one day fade to the eternity one shares with Jesus Christ. Through this intimate connection of the God-Man, the Mystical Body of Christ can cheat the laws of temporality with prayers that transcend time and allow oneself to even walk with Christ in His most difficult moments. This is the purpose of Echo Meditation.
To learn more about Christian Meditation , please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification
Additional Resources on Meditation
“Incarnation” Wikipedia. Access here
“What Does It Mean That Jesus Christ Is the Logos?”. Paul Tambrino, EdD, PhD. December 31st, 2022. The Greater Christian Heritage Publishing. Access here
“MINDFULNESS: A CHRISTIAN APPROACH”. 2019. Focus on the Family. Access here
“Meditating on the Passion of Jesus”. Divine Mercy for America. Access here
“Aquinas on Divine Immutability”. Austen Haynes. 2015. PERFECTIHABIA. Access here