Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Contemplative Prayer (Part 1)
“We are a circumference people, with little access to the center. We live on the boundaries of our own lives in the widening gyre, confusing edges with essence, too quickly claiming the superficial as substance” (Rohr 2003, 13). Rohr paints an accurate picture of humanity and culture. He supposes that our lack of centering, keeps us distracted, and nearly satisfied by life’s superficial offerings. But there is hope to become centered. There is a path to reclaim the essence of being with and seeing God face to face. That path is contemplative prayer.
Contemplative prayer does not have a prescribed definition, but includes many facets of spiritual discipline and life. Perhaps its more appropriate to first outline what contemplative prayer is not. Contemplative prayer is not “about leaving this world. It is not an otherworldly experience…Contemplative prayer is not exclusively for monks and nuns…it is not necessarily easy” (Thibodeaux 2001, 2). Contemplative prayer involves talking at God, talking to God, listening to God, and most importantly being with God (Thibodeaux 2001, 17-30). Allen writes that, “in the contemplative life, we become like God through knowing God’s wisdom, which increases our love for God and in turn our love for our neighbor” (Allen 1997, 97).
*this is PART 1 of 9