Saturday, May 5, 2012

In Silence and Contemplation

I never before heard this definition of contemplation.
"Contemplation is not a series of particular experiences but a process whereby little by little we are transformed in God"
 It is beautiful...
How is contemplation different from meditation? Look to Mary to see how it works. She treasured up the words of the shepherds and the wise men and pondered (meditated) them in her heart (Luke 2:19). But she contemplated most the Word she carried in her womb. Contemplation begins where our efforts end. It is the prayer of intent where we allow God to do unto us as he wills i.e. transform us into his image. 

I remember this beautiful part from the Disney animated movie, 'Up'; where Ellie and Carl are in their own worlds, reading their respective books when Carl drops his hand over his armrest and Ellie reaches out and holds it. She sensed it without even looking.
A place of intimacy, a state of being, a knowing without saying

This is contemplation...where words fail and beautiful thoughts dry up and feelings end.
This is contemplation...when my deeds matter not and my intentions are laid bare.
This is contemplation...when nothing I can say or do or think will ever come nearly close to expressing my desire for him. So, my desire itself becomes my prayer. And it can only be expressed in silence.
In the beginning, God spoke the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. This Word, God repeats in an eternal silence and in silence must it ever be heard by the soul.  
                          -Prayer of Silence, Carmelite Friars
 The tragedy of our times is that silence is hunted, pursued and punished. It is mistakenly marked as the sign of loneliness. No, loneliness is just mask under which we hide all the noise within. Solitude is the fruit of silence. And into that still, dark night; darkest before dawn, the Beloved comes to his own and everything changes.