Contemplative Prayer: A State of Being
On the second Sunday of each month our Lay Associates come together at our monastery. They come because they are drawn by our life of liturgical and contemplative prayer and by the Redemptoristine charism to be a 'living memory of Christ, the Redeemer." They also come because they want to grow in the love of God and neighbor; they want to become ever more intimately united with God every aspect of their lives; and they say they are encouraged and enlivened for their individual journeys by association with us. In turn, we are grateful for the ways in which they keep us aware of the needs of our world and the holiness present in it. We are also most grateful for the many ways in which they support us by their prayer and generosity to our community.
Tomorrow I will be moderating a discussion with them concerning contemplative prayer. I always welcome these opportunities as occasions of grace for me because they call me to re-examine my own prayer life and invite me to revisit those favorite authors who have instructed me so well. On this go round I have re-read Thomas Merton's Contemplative Prayer (originally published as The Climate of Monastic Prayer) and New Seeds of Contemplation. I've also read William Johnston's introduction to the Image Press edition of The Cloud of Unknowing and some articles commenting on that great classic of western spirituality.
Contemplative prayer is not a method. It is a state of being.