If you are truly called to a solitary lifestye, eventually celibacy must follow. Solitude invites the presence of God, a presence which so consumes the soul, there is no lover energy available for an intense human commitment to intimacy. The deeper one goes into spiritual solitude, the lighter one travels. But it is not for us to divest ourselves -- at our own willed choosing -- of the things that are necessary for life within society. It is for God to strip us, often painfully, of them at a time when God knows -- if we do not -- that we must go more lightly into this Heart of Love.
BLESSINGS, dear friends of the heart! The heart: where the Divine Guet awaits our listening silence. May we learn to dele ever more deeply into the contemplative Silence within that links our soul like a vertical beam of light to heaven and earth. Our lives beome more joyful, peaceful, and loving, increasing our reverence and honoring of ALL life.
Contemplating the Indwelling Presence, you are given new eyes of faith, hope, and love to see God's grandeur bursting forth... All things cry out to you that God is here. This place is indeed holy! With eyes of a child filled with wonder and joy, you open to God's living revelation in all things. You believe nothing can keep out the loving, presence of God as love in all things. As you act on that living faith, it becomes a reality. Every moment with all your material involvements allows you to become more and more united with the Indwelling Presence of God, the triune community of I-Thou in a We of self-giving persons.
~ from THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE COMPLETE by George Maloney
To live a contemplative life is to be open enough to see, free enough to hear, real enough to respond. It is a life, and so it has its own rhythms of darkness, of dying-rising. Simply enough, it is a live of grateful receptivity, or wordless awe, of silent simplicity.
Every age has a need of "the contemplative life," and ours is no exception to the rule. The soul needs a chance for spreading its wings, for looking beyond itself, beyond the immediate environment, and for quiet inner growth.
~ from THE RELIGIOUS CONSCIOUSNESS by James Bissett Pratt
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
If we are designed to be in communion with God, if God is our Lover, then we have to indulge in the things that lovers do. The lover wishes always to be in the loved one's presence, to gaze and behold. The name for this loving regard is contemplation.
An attitude of contemplation helps us to see the quiet beauty that is all around us in the world, in the faces of the people in our lives or the way a cat stretches, as well as in the mundane tasks that take up so much of our time. We can begin to cultivate the "listening heart." This contemplative way of seeing, hearing, and feeling brings richness and depth of meaning to our lives. It allows us to know what is real and essential. It helps us move toward freedom and wholeness as we see more clearly into the truth of the moment.
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