“Let us contemplate God in our thoughts and with our mind’s eye reflect upon the peaceful and restrained unfolding of His plan; let us consider the care with which He provides for the whole of His Creation” (Pope Clement in a Letter to the Corinthians, The Liturgy of the Hours, Volume IV,. p.439).
There are many things we can contemplate. The mountains that are so high that our eyes cannot grasp their actual size. The sky that seems so close is really so far away from us. The land with its trees so green and grass so graceful. The rivers and streams with their living and moving waters and all that is alive in them.
All of these things have their beauty and ability to capture our imaginations. Yet, none of these things come close to the opportunity to contemplate God. In these brief words by Pope Clement, we are invited to think with the eye of the mind how much God must love us all. All of this resonates with what St. Benedict wrote in the Prologue of The Rule. “Listen to the Master’s instructions. Incline the ear of your heart.” These words and the reflection by Pope Clement invite us to a renewed view of things from God’s point of view. Seeing things from the point of how God sees them is the goal of contemplative prayer. In contemplative prayer, we see through the eyes of faith passed what is created by viewing all things from the perspective of the Creator. Our view even then will be very limited, because our vision is impaired by the fact that we need God’s perspective to see more completely what is veiled from sight The great gift in contemplative prayer is that we receive through faith God’s grace for a singular moment in time what is known and understood beyond time and space. Yet, it pierces the most stubborn of hearts. It releases all the anger we use to limit ourselves, and liberates us to live into our true selves with simplicity and hope.
Today, may we contemplate God.
Br. Anselm King-Lowe, n/OSB