Reflection of the Week - 17th May 2022

By Richard Rohr

Posted in Faith

What is Contemplation?

Contemplation is the practice of being fully present—in heart, mind, and body—to what is in a way that allows you to creatively respond and work toward what could be.

For many, contemplation is prayer or meditation, a daily practice of deep listening to better connect with ourselves and divine love. Richard Rohr teaches that contemplative prayer helps us sustain the Truth we encounter during moments of great love and great suffering long after the intensity of these experiences wears off.

Contemplative prayer is the way we work out the experiences that words elude, how we learn from them and bravely allow ourselves to be transformed by them, even when our normal modes of thinking can’t make sense of them.

Contemplative prayer is a practice for a lifetime, never perfected yet always enough. Each time we pray, our habitual patterns of thinking and feeling will inevitably interrupt and distract us from deep listening, but it is through our repeated failings that we encounter God’s grace and experience a transformed mind (Romans 12:2).

The contemplative mind is about receiving and being present to the moment, to the now, without judgement, analysis, or critique. Contemplative ‘knowing’ is a much more holistic, heart-centred knowing, where mind, heart, soul, and senses are open and receptive to the moment just as it is. ‘This is how you come to love things in themselves and as themselves. You learn not to divide the field of the moment or eliminate anything that threatens your ego, but to hold everything—both the attractive and the unpleasant—together in one accepting gaze.’


Center for Action and Contemplation, Richard Rohr

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