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Reflections: Prayers & Dvtns. (Cntmplt./Md.)

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Reflections: 

Prayers & Devotions:

Contemplation / Meditation

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Contemplation / Meditation

 

Category
Quotation

Contemp-

lation / Meditation

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"The greatness of contemplation can be given to none but those who love." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"The perfect soul desires to be rapt by contemplation to the chaste embraces of her Spouse." (St. Bernard, Doctor of the Church)

"Contemplation is nothing else than a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of God, which if admitted, will set the soul on fire with the spirit of love." (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church)

"The first point in contemplation is to marvel at God's majesty; the second, at His judgements; the third, at His benefits: the fourth, at His promises." (St. Bernard, Doctor of the Church)

"A single plant, a blade of grass is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in the contemplation of the skill which produced it." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him." (St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina)

"Seek in reading and thou shalt find in meditation; knock in prayer and it shall be opened to thee in contemplation." (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church)

[A]ction can never be fruitful unless preceded and accompanied by contemplation, which obtains for it every blessing and grace." (Liturgical Year)

"To contemplate only means to look at something or someone. We know what it means to use our eyes. Then open them wide. The obscure world of faith is more luminous than we imagine: it is only necessary to wish to see." (Plus)

"The Divinity never imparts Himself as He is to those that contemplate Him while still in this life, but shows forth His brightness scantily to the blinking eyes of our mind." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"All the saints have become saints by means of mediation; and experience shows us that those who practice meditation very seldom fall into mortal sin; and if they unfortunately do fall sometimes into it, they soon arise by means of meditation, and return again to God. Meditation and sin cannot exist together." (Muller)

"The contemplative life means keeping of charity towards God and our neighbor, and fixing all our desires on our Creator." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"The contemplative life has its most desirable sweetness which uplifts the soul above itself, opens the way to heavenly things, and makes spiritual things plain to the eyes of the soul." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"The contemplation of God is promised to us as the goal of all our acts and the eternal consummation of all our joys." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"It is morally impossible for him who neglects mediation to live without sin." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"[T]he fruit of salvation, though it may seem to proceed from the word and from action, springs first from silent contemplation." (Liturgical Year)

"When there is no time for both, meditation is to be preferred to vocal prayer, because it is more fruitful." (St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina)

"It is necessary that whoever eagerly prosecutes the exercises of contemplation, first question himself with particularity, how much he loves. For the force of love is an engine of the soul, which, while it draws it out of the world, lifts it on high." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"If we wish to contemplate things within, let us rest from outward engagements. The voice of God, in truth, is heard as if in dreams, when with minds at ease we rest from the bustle of this world, and the divine precepts are pondered by us in the deep silence of the mind. For when the mind is at rest from outward employments, the weight of the divine precepts is more fully discerned." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"And by experience we see that many persons who recite a great number of vocal prayers, the Office and the Rosary, fall into sin, and continue to live in sin. But he who attends to mental prayer scarcely ever falls into sin, an should he have the misfortune of falling into it, he will hardly continue to live in so miserable a state; he will either give up mental prayer, or renounce sin. Meditation and sin cannot stand together. However abandoned a soul may be, if she perseveres in meditation, God will bring her to salvation." (St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church)

"At this point we cannot refrain from referring with sorrow to those who, carried away by pernicious novelties, dare to maintain a contrary opinion, and to hold that time devoted to meditation and prayer is wasted. What calamitous blindness! Would that such people would take thought seriously with themselves and realize whither this neglect and contempt of prayer leads. From it have sprung pride and stubbornness; and these have produced those bitter fruits which in our paternal love we hesitate to mention and most earnestly desire to remove completely." (Pope St. Pius X, "Haerent Animo", 1908)

"We should look for the presence of God in all things...in all our conversations, our walks, when we are using our eyes, listening, or thinking, when we are eating, and in all that we do. This manner of meditating, which causes us to find God in everything, is easier than the method which obliges us to exert ourselves, to elevate the mind to the consideration of more abstract truths. This salutary practice, if we dispose ourselves rightly, will be rewarded by a gracious visit from our Lord, even if it lasts only for the duration of a short prayer." (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

"The saintly abbot, Bernard, when writing to Eugene III, his former pupil who had become Roman Pontiff, frankly and emphatically admonished him never to omit daily divine meditation; he would not admit as an excusing cause even the many weighty cares which the supreme pontificate involves. In justification of this advice he enumerated with great prudence the benefits of the practice of meditation: 'Meditation purifies the source from which it comes, the mind. It controls affections, guides our acts, corrects excesses, rules our conduct, introduces order and dignity into our lives; it bestows understanding of things divine and human. It brings clarity where there is confusion, binds what is torn apart, gathers what is scattered, investigates what is hidden, seeks out the truth, weighs what has the appearance of truth, and shows up what is pretense and falsehood. It plans future action and reviews the past, so that nothing remains in the mind that has not been corrected or that stands in need of correction. When affairs are prospering it anticipates the onset of adversity, and when adversity comes it seems not to feel it, in this it displays in turn prudence and fortitude.'" (Pope St. Pius X, "Haerent Animo", 1908)

"The first thing we must do in prayer is to represent to ourselves, by the help of our memory, the point or mystery which we may wish to be the subject of our prayer. Then the understanding must examine this point, and consider all the particulars of it. Finally, the will must produce acts, according as the understanding has digested the matter which had been proposed to it by the memory. But since this discourse of the understanding is the source whence all our acts in prayer flow, and, since we can make no act which does not, necessarily, spring from this our meditation, it follows that we must be particularly careful to make this well. The truth is, this proposition is self evident, for there is no one that has the least tincture of philosophy but knows that the will is a blind power, unable to attach itself to anything unless the understanding guides it. Hence it is a maxim received by all philosophers, ' that nothing can be willed unless it is first known.' The will, having of itself no light, must borrow it from the understanding, which goes before it to give it knowledge and to discover what it ought to love or hate. It is this that made St. Augustine say that 'we may love the things we never saw, but never those we have not known '; and St. Gregory says, ' No one can love what he is entirely ignorant of.' The reason of this is, that the object of the will being a known good, we cannot love anything but because we perceive it is good and deserving of love; just as, on the contrary, we do not hate a thing or fly from it, unless we conceive it to be bad and deserving of hatred. It is clear, therefore, that the operation of the understanding is the foundation of all our acts in prayer; whence it follows that meditation is most necessary, and that prayer cannot be perfect unless meditation goes before, or accompanies it, as says Hugo of St. Victor." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Exhortations to Prayer | How to Pray | Necessity of Prayer | Perseverance in Prayer | Prayer in Our Own Words | Praying Privately | Problems / Difficulties in Prayer | Public vs. Private Prayer | Time in Prayer is Not Wasted | What Prayer Is | Wordiness in Prayer

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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