What is Emerging?
The contemplative life, the contemplative self and other titles related to contemplation have been around a very long time. What seems to be emerging in our day is a new interest in this practice and perhaps a new way of being. “Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours,” edited by Kathleen Deignan CND, is the first book that organizes Merton’s writings as a source for prayer and contemplation. In the introduction, Deignan shares with us Merton’s strong belief that a deeply experiential life in God is the reason we were born, a grace available to everyone. Following are quotes from Deignan’s introduction of Merton’s words.*
Merton’s own way of prayer was “centered on the presence of God and God’s will and love, a kind of peace rising up out of the center of Nothing and Silence, not thinking about anything, but a direct seeking of the Face of the Invisible.”
“The contemplative journey is the search for God in which one discovers God at the core of one’s true self.”
“It is for this self-transcendence and communion that we exist, becoming the likeness of the One whose image we are: radiant centers of reconciling love, becoming peacemakers, justice builders and caretakers of creation.”
Contemplation makes us sacraments of hope and signs of contradiction who are ever revitalized by joining the cosmic dance in rhythm with the heartbeat of life itself.
What if you and I would spend a few minutes every day centered on attention to the presence of God, not thinking, but seeking the Face of the Invisible? What if you and I truly believed that our search for God is the discovery that God is the core of our true selves? What difference would it make in our lives? In the life of the Loretto Community?
We invite you to join us in reflecting on this wisdom of Merton as we begin the journey of a new year with the desire of growing deeper in our contemplative lives. Your reflections are welcome if you wish to share them.
*Quotes used with permission.