“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”?
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
What a man takes in by contemplation, that he pours out in love.
A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search of truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life.
What distinguishes – in both senses of that word – contemplation is rather this: it is a knowing which is inspired by love. “Without love there would be no contemplation.” Contemplation is a loving attainment of awareness. It is intuition of the beloved object.