The Contemplative Life

Contemplative life does not have to be seen as a special vocation

Contemplative life does not have to be seen as a special vocation reserved for some special souls only; it is open to all, and all are invited to enjoy it. You do not have to be in special circumstances to practice it, because it consists not so much in what you do as in the attitude and the perspective in which your ordinary actions are performed. It is a life of wonder. The contemplative is one who look around at the world and marvels at reality. We are living as contemplatives when we are thoroughly alive ourselves and when we are alert and sensitive to the reality of other beings and disposed to appreciate them.

~ from "The Contemplative Life" in "The Roll" by Beatrice Bruteau -- June 1995

Contemplation

Contemplation consists essentially in the affective knowledge that is the fruit of the gift of wisdom. Contemplation attains God in a different way from faith, which is a more objective type of knowledge. Affective knowledge is rooted in love and blossoms into love. Love takes the place of the concept; love is its light. In this act of affective knowledge, we touch God, so to speak, and are conformed to God.

The act of love plunges us into God, who is given in silence. Anything else would run the risk of detracting from the gift. This act of love or affective knowledge frees us from ourselves. And, in this love, God is revealed in a silence that strips us and makes us experience that "blessed are the poor". Silence preserves us from illusion and gives us a security.

~ from THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE by Thomas Philippe
The Contemplative Life
By OP, Fr. Thomas Philippe

The act of love plunges us into God

The act of love plunges us into God, who is given in silence. Anything else would run the risk of detracting from the gift. "Silence is the speech of God", according to St. John of the Cross. This act of love frees us from ourselves. In this love, God is revealed in a silence that strips us and makes us experience that "blessed are the poor". Silence preserves us from illusion and gives us security ... The grace of contemplation places the soul in a kind of immobility and silence, which we cannot do of ourselves. God does all this by way of love, which involves a death of the mind and a resurrection of the heart.

~ from THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE by Thomas Philippe
The Contemplative Life
By OP, Fr. Thomas Philippe
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