Contemplation is about very basic, very real things. It is about seeing God in everyone, finding God everywhere, and responding to all of life as a message from God. Contemplation is not a road show about visions. It is not an exalted state of being. It is simply consciousness of the Ultimate in the immediate. Contemplatives do not seek visions. They simply seek to know God.
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
How can I attune myself to be conscious of the “Ultimate in the immediate”?
Be still and know that I am God.
But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.
The life of contemplation in action and purity of heart is, then, a life of great simplicity and inner liberty. One is not seeking anything special or demanding any particular satisfaction. One is content with what is. One does what is to be done, and the more concrete it is, the better. One is not worried about the results of what is done. One is content to have good motives and not too anxious about making mistakes. In this way one can swim with the living stream of life and remain at every moment in contact with God, in the hiddenness and ordinariness of the present moment with its obvious task.”
The Inner Experience, Thomas Merton
The greatness of contemplation can be given to none but those who love.
Pope St. Gregory the Great
Contemplation is nothing else than a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of
God, which if admitted, will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love.
St. John of the Cross
To follow God does not often mean traveling with certainty about where God will lead us. Rather, following God propels us to be present to the place where we are, for this is the very place where God shows up.
Jan L. Richardson
What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.
Contemplative vision is the vision that says “you are good as you are because you are the sacrament of God’s love.”
The greatest menace to our capacity for contemplation is the incessant fabrication of tawdry empty stimuli which kill the receptivity of the soul.
Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe.