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