Contemplative Prayer ( Prayer Part V)

Contemplative prayer, according to St. Teresa of Jesus, was nothing more than an intimate sharing between friends.

On any given Sunday morning, if you enter a church you might see a priest, or religious sitting in quiet contemplation before the tabernacle. If you sat and watched, you might see someone coming to them, and interrupting that process, and bothering them for this or that. They would then quietly return to their contemplation until they were either out of time or had completed time they felt needed be to spent there.

I had been witness to this process for the entirety of my life. I never really got it until much later in life when I took the work on my prayer life much more seriously.

Many people have difficulty with contemplative prayer because it removes the formulas, or rubrics, or formal types of prayer from the process. There is no formula or wrote recitation of the prayers and there is nothing really there except for you and God.

We are God’s children. Yes we are grown ups, and yes we are mature, and all those sorts of things. Even so, we fall prey to the same kinds of sinful behaviors, painted with adult brushes. I will get back to that in a bit.

Contemplative prayer, means that you, through the force of your own free will, come into the presence of God and lay open your heat and soul before Him. You share your most intimate thoughts and desires.

At first, these attempts at contemplative prayer may be a bit laborious. They may feel like there is no one listening. It may feel like there is no one and you are sending your thoughts and prayers into a great void. I assure you that you most definitely are not. God is there. God is listening. Mostly God is happy you are making the effort.

Contemplative prayer draws us in, creates a space, creates a manger within our hearts and souls for the King of the Universe to come and lay his head. He lays there waiting to hear what it is that you have to share. He wants to hear from you.

When you pray your Liturgy of the Hours, and I hope you do, that when you get to the Our Father, if you are placing your intercessions there, then I would invite you to linger at that point… To spend some time in contemplation, and introspection. Open your mind, heart and soul to Jesus who waits for you.

Go early to Holy Mass. Sit and take in the presence of God in the tabernacle. In Acts and in Isaiah , we hear these words “

‘The heavens are my throne,

the earth is my footstool.

What kind of house can you build for me?

says the Lord,

or what is to be my resting place?l

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