Christian Contemplation, Listen to the Quiet,
There is an uneasiness - a yearning within us. We try to satisfy it with activities, constant sound, accomplishments, strivings, "things."
We even call the break between activities as "down time." a term ripe with the connotation of depression and lack of purpose. How often do we turn on something to keep away the silence we dread. Yes, we dread silence. Listen to a conversation with long pauses and see the body language of "uncomfortable" or the fast tripping of words to fill in the gap.
We are body, mind and spirit, according to the classical definition of a "human." We keep the body fit by working out and eating healthy foods. We keep the mind sharp by reading, by learning new skills and by interacting with the arts. The uneasiness? That is a neglected spirit longing to be nurtured.
Some nurture the spirit by religion. Within the structure of religion as most experience it, there is activity. High ritual or low. There are words to be read or to hear. There are acclamations to be spoken. Even during the quiet times there is an underpinning of soft music. We are almost never alone with our spirit in quiet contemplation. The Divine shouts out to us and we too surrounded by the wild winds to hear.
Cultivating the spirit is quiet. It is learning in the art of contemplation and soul prayer. It is learning the art of listening in silence. These arts have been practiced since the earliest times. Christ often went out alone, often at night, to pray. As our spirit is strengthened, our love for the Holy Spirit increases and the fruits bestowed effect our body and mind. We live out of the Spirit within us.
As the light of God within increase, it more brightly illuminates our path of life. We start to build upon rock and not drifting sands. When faced with challenges, we are equipped to pause, to re-focus to draw upon the Spirit for strength. We can engage a dialog with the Spirit - listening more than talking. Our spirit has learned and using the whole of our being - body, mind and spirit - we can climb up and over life's obstacles and learn their lesson.
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