“Being watchful is intimately connected with a sustained and disciplined practice of meditation. Taking the time each day to try to discern the movement of the Spirit prepares us to recognize, to intuit God’s presence and respond wholeheartedly. No matter the form your external meditation takes, the fruit of dedicated practice comes in being able to knit together the various moments of each day in conscious, fully awake action.” (NS)

An authentic and fruitful formation in the spiritual life requires us to develop a capacity to be watchful, an awareness, a contemplative gaze. We are bombarded with images and noise: distractions to the point we forget that we are in communion with others. Being watchful as it is noted in the quote above, “sustained and disciplined by practice of mediation.” The Lord revealed to us of the necessity for us to be watchful casting off our sleepiness. The sleepy ignores the Kingdom of God; the person who is not watchful is unconcerned for salvation, that is, our salvation.

Father Luigi Giussani recalls for us that the Gospel says, “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come,” it means be conscious of your destiny, of your relationship with God, with the source, the substance, and the end of what you are…. If we immediately want to feel ourselves filled with richness in our contemplative life, we must always start from the original truth: we were not and now we are. Therefore being—living, existing, moving—is participation in something else. How peacefully exhaustive it is to be able to say with clarity (clarity regarding your motivation, not regarding content, which is the mystery that Christ has revealed to us) that everything we do participates within something else. This is where gratuity is rooted: everything that we do and that we are is given to us; we participate in something else. I believe that there exists nothing more evident than this: no instant in our life do we make ourselves. It is in the vibration of this self-awareness that the possibility of real prayer is developed within us.