Thoughts to Ponder are my musings regarding community, things of the Spirit, and living as a Christ-follower. I don't offer the words of a professional or an expert; just a fellow traveler and explorer. Please don't take my musings more serious than I do. I've discovered a long time ago that I do not hold the keys of knowledge or wisdom. If I did, I misplaced them somewhere...typical.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


"To be a contemplative therefore is not limited to any specific lifestyle, such as monastic or religious; rather, it has everything to do with hearing God's call to become love, in whatever state of life we find ourselves. For contemplation will make us not less concerned for the world we live in, but more.

"Nevertheless, to grow in...prayer and to deepen our relationship with God, it is essential that we carve out, every day some substantial amount of time for interior stillness and silence in prayer, and remain faithful to it as a true priority. Flexibility will be necessary, but it must have as its principle and center our love relationship with God. Lovers do not schedule time to be alone together--they make it happen, knowing that no deep relationship is possible or can endure and grow without it. For the 'immanent God may be discovered, but the transcendent God must reveal himself.'

"Through such faithful commitment to prayer, we will learn that a 'passionate waiting,' with our hearts awakened and attentive to the one we love, in fidelity and constancy, is of greatest importance, whether we are in light or in darkness. And we will know, as St. Bernard assures us, that 'he alone is God who is never sought in vain, even when he cannot be found.'

"Then, as St. Paul prayed, God himself through his Spirit will enable us to grow in our inner self, so that Christ may live in our hearts through faith, and, planted in love and built on love, we will have the strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth, that knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond knowing, we may be filled with the utter fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19). He concludes,
Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine (v. 20).
"Outside times of prayer too, we can learn to 'meditate' on life by living reflectively rather than on the surface of things: 'listening to life' and recognizing how God is there, as he is in all creation and people and events of our ordinary everyday lives.

"To grow in this realization, a very helpful practice is to take some time before the end of each day to reflect and prayerfully discern how God was present and acting, perhaps disguised as commonplace, in moments that passed us by or in circumstances that seemed to conceal rather than reveal him. For the truth is that we are immersed in God, receiving from him life and being and love at every moment, as constantly as the air we breathe throughout our lives. What remains is to open our inner eye and see what is always there, to grow in our awareness of this deepest reality, 'since it is in him that we live, and move, and exist' (Acts 17:28). As Meister Eckhart humorously commented, 'God is always at home. It is we who have gone out for a walk.' Contemplation will develop this awareness in developing the gift of faith, which is our participation in God's vision of reality."
-Thelma Hall, Too Deep For Words: Rediscovering Lectio Divina

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