Thursday, July 12, 2007

CODA to Contemplative Nuns Offer School of Prayer

" The precious enclosed garden of the Lord which is the human soul."
Maria Celeste Crostarosa, Foundress of the Redemptoristines

The Fruits of Contemplative Prayer

And what is it that happens when the soul is totally disposed to God, when the donation of self in complete abandonment and utter generosity is the desire of the heart? What happens in that prayer of nothingness called contemplation?

* It becomes the place of transformation. Over time changes can be seen in behavior and attitudes; in greater desire for quite and solitude; in a slower pace of operation, greater acceptance of what is, and gratitude in all things.

* Contemplative prayer changes the atmosphere. In his introduction to The Cloud of Unknowing, Fr. William Johnston says, "No corner of the universe is untouched by this exercise of love...It is, of course, a great paradox that we should help people by forgetting them..." Thomas Merton often wrote of this cosmic effect of contemplative prayer. His book Basic Principles of Monastic Spirituality ends with these words.

In the night of our technological barbarism,
monks must be as trees which exist silently in the dark,
and by their vital presence purify the air.,

Instead of "monks" use the words "all those who pray" and read the quote again. Now go into your room and shut the door.

1 comment:

kate said...

Terrific blog. DO you think that your blog has helped stir interest in your congregation and monastery? I note with regret that the Redemptoristine nuns have not taken advantage of the internet the way that many other communities have, including contemplative communities. For a long time, your community didn't even have a website, but was just tacked on the the male branch of the order. I strongly suspect that the resurgence of interest in religious life has a lot to do with the internet.