"Contemplation, like all prayer, is pure gift, and not anything we can achieve. It happens when prayer becomes, wholly and utterly, the flow of God’s grace, transforming the land it flows through, like Ezekiel’s stream. Or it happens when we lose consciousness of our own part in it and become simply receptors and carriers of grace. It happens when we realize that our transformation depends on nothing but God's grace and love, and, like the chrysalis, let go of all activity to try to achieve our own redemption. When we try to describe it, we fail, for it lies beyond the world of words. We can open our hearts to it by the practice of awareness, but we cannot bring it about, any more than we can force a flower to open or an egg to hatch. And in our silent, trustful waiting, we are acknowledging that God is God, the source and the destination, the means and the end of all our prayer, whatever form it may take." -Margaret Silf, The Gift of Contemplative Prayer What does it feel like to hear that you cannot “achieve” contemplative prayer—that this kind of awareness and connectedness with God is all-gift? Does that frustrate you? Or do you feel relieved, that it doesn’t depend on you getting it right? That you are that flower, waiting to open, but you can’t force it (have you ever tried to open up a flower bud, instead of letting it unfold in its time?), that it is God’s work of love in you? Can you let go a bit today of what you expect of yourself (re: prayer, etc), and just turn your gaze toward God—and let God do what God wants to do?

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2022-08-12 14:01:15 UTC