Tag Archives: contemplation

Sharing one’s contemplation

For even as it is better to enlighten than merely to shine, so is it better to give to others the fruits of one’s contemplation than merely to contemplate.

St. Thomas Aquinas

Union with others

Union with others can only be realized by means of our progress in the spiritual life, and in the measure in which we turn away from all that is external in order to be united with God. A man in a state of grace is, indeed, a kind of world, at the center of which God never ceases to be and to act.

A Carthusian Monk
The Prayer of Love and Silence

Saint John of the Cross

Juan de la CruzToday, we mark the liturgical memorial of a magnificent saint (all saints are magnificent!), the 16th century Carmelite friar, John of the Cross.

A friend posted the following on contemplation:

“Contemplation is nothing less than a secret, peaceful and loving infusion from God. The road of contemplation is where God himself feeds and refreshes the soul directly, without the soul’s help or meditation.

There is a remarkable transformation of the heart’s desires as a result of surrendering to God in our soul’s center. Our desire and God’s desire now join in a consonance of desire.

The nature of love is to be united, linked up with and at one with the object of its love. Only love unites and cements the soul with God. The soul lives in that which it loves.

Prayer, by its nature, involves a sense of incompleteness and thus of longing in truth.

The more God wants to give us, the more He makes us desire–even to the point of leaving us empty in order to fill us with goods. Be careful that you do not lack the desire to be poor and in want.

In following Christ in the contemplative way, without laying down one’s own ground rules and conditions, we grow into dimensions of the reality of God’s love which lie beyond what we can comprehend, experience or place in any systematic order. We are stripped of all guarantees which are rooted in the self, and we begin to live on the faith, trust and love that we have for God. We now experience God more as he is–as sheer Mystery.

Prayer ultimately leads us to go beyond anything that can be known. We travel unknowing into an unknown land and we learn how to stay there, knowing naught.”

Pope Francis visits Camaldolese monastery

As one of the final events for the Year of Faith Pope Francis will have a “Pro Orantibus Day,” honoring the liturgical feast of of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since 1953, today has been a day of prayer for those belonging to contemplative religious orders.  Pope Pius XII established this day to remind all the faithful of the indispensability of contemplative vocation for the health of the Church. It is also a day many of the Benedictine Oblates renew their oblation to their monastery.

Pope Francis called today “a good opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of so many people who, in monasteries and hermitages, dedicate themselves to God in prayer and silent work.”

The Pope urged the faithful to give their spiritual and material support to these brothers and sisters “so that they can carry out their important mission.”

At Vespers, the Pope Francis will visit a Camaldolese monastery of cloistered nuns, Sant’Antonio abate, on the Aventine hill. Previous Roman Pontiffs have prayed at this monastery.

Here’s a VERY fascinating interview with Veronica Scarisbrick of Vatican Radio with one of the nuns (the radio link) at Sant’Antonio.

Listen to the interview, please. AND there’s another report here from Vatican Radio.

Rome Reports has a report here.

Contemplation AND ordinary experience praise God

I would say that it is very important in the contemplative life not to overemphasize the contemplation. If we constantly overemphasize those things to which access is inevitably quite rare, we overlook the ordinary authentic real experiences of everyday life as real things to enjoy, things to be happy about, things to praise God for.

But the ordinary realities of everyday life, the faith and love with which we live our normal human lives, provide the foundation on which we build those higher things. If there is no foundation, then we have nothing at all!

How can we relish the higher things of God if we cannot enjoy some simple little thing that comes along as a gift from Him!

Thomas Merton
Contemplation in a World of Action

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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