When we open the door to His heart through Contemplative Prayer
This way of praying goes all the way back to the time when God first reached out to men and women.
In the Bible, God is described as walking in the Garden with Adam and Eve. He spoke intimately to them and them to him about their shared life together.
Contemplative prayer reflects and develops this intimacy and giftedness.
The words temple, time and contemplate, come from a Greek word meaning creating a special time and place within ourselves for gazing, looking, ruminating or observation. This area within ourselves is where we meet ‘He whom my soul loves’ (Song of Songs 1:71) is sometimes called our inner temple or sanctuary.
The desert fathers like St. Antony and Cassian came to the community to hear the Word of God at the Eucharist and community meeting and then went to a place of silence to contemplate the graces and gifts our Father God offered them in the Word of God. This traditional form of prayer by the monks is still evident at Mt. Carmel in Israel.
Theresa of Avila (a Carmelite nun in the sixteenth century) says, “Contemplative prayer is nothing less than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.” St. John Vianney, parish priest in a small rural village in France, asked a farmer about his daily prayers. He replied “I look at Him and He looks at me.”
The Word of God who became man in the person of Jesus Christ is the main way God speaks to us. The most fruitful way to pray is prayer with Jesus and to listen to Him. Praying to an image of Jesus through a heart word will help us to centre our attention on Jesus and prevents our thoughts wandering.
When we faithfully spend the time we allot to the Lord, we welcome the love of God and open our hearts to respond to this love by loving even more. We know that the love we are returning is a gift poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
Contemplative prayer is a surrender to the loving will of the Father to achieve a greater union with Him. In return, God transforms us more into His image and likeness.
Contemplative prayer prepares us to receive the wisdom of God and the growth and
development of the Holy Spirit’s gifts within us.
Pope John Paul II said, “This is the lived experience of Christ’s promise,” He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to Him.’
Prayer Comment: Knowing about Jesus is not the same as knowing him in a personal way. Learn how to contemplate God in His word and discover the gifts of the Holy Spirit that will empower you to develop an intimate relationship with him through the Assisted Help Tabs.