Contemplation is not an easy thing to achieve. It requires the kind of sacred stillness that we can’t seem to enter. We are too used to busy-ness, hectic lives that we live so that we can accomplish things. We count those things we accomplish as stars in our crown. We feel proud of them. We show them to those around us like trophies we have won.
Contemplation with our selves and God is another thing altogether. It’s hard to do. We are so used to our calling consisting of things to do, we don’t understand the part of our calling that is real communion with God and real knowledge of self. Thomas Merton described it best in “New Seeds of Contemplation.”
“Contemplation is also the response to a call: a call from him who has no voice, and yet who speaks in everything that is, and who, most of all, speaks in the depths of our own being: for we ourselves are words of his. But we are words that are meant to respond to him, to answer to him to echo him, and even in some way to contain him and signify him. Contemplation is this echo. It is a deep resonance in the inmost centre of our spirit in which our very life loses its separate voice and resounds with the majesty and the mercy of the hidden and living one. He answers himself in us and this answer is divine life, divine creativity, making all things new.”
– Thomas Merton, “New Seeds of Contemplation”
Now that full-time ministry is in my past, I struggle to know my calling for today. Contemplation is my search, and the depths of contemplation . . . It is divine life and divine creativity that makes all things new.