Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Are you contemplative?

Are you contemplative? Perhaps you should be.

To contemplate means to look at or view with continued attention; observe or study thoughtfully, consider thoroughly - making a quiet time for ourselves.  I've done this regularly for as long as I remember, sometimes in a positive way, sometimes not.

Recently I've been introduced to the writings of Therese Borchard who blogs Beyond Blue on Beliefnet.com.  She is also the author of Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes and The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Guide.  I absolutly love her work because her stories and humor draw me in like she's speaking only to me.

In one of her articles I just discovered, Be Still … No Really, Be Still: An Interview with Anne Simpkinson (full article), contemplation is addressed...
Therese: I just wrote a piece on vacations and came across some literature that said, as much as we talk about wanting to change our environments and chill out for a week or two, most of us are incapable of doing just that, and scared to, actually, because it creates a kind of uncomfortableness of sitting with silence and tapping the desires of our heart. Can you speak to that?

Anne: We are bombarded daily with noise, information and activity. So yes, in that environment, it’s difficult to listen deeply to our innermost selves. Quiet, contemplation and silence can make people uncomfortable because they are not used to it. And yet, silence is like a deep, refreshing well that can buoy you in difficult times, ignite your creativity, deepen your faith, give more meaning to your life.

The only thing I'd like to add is, what being still of mind can do for us spiritually.  When we consider things of life deeply, with an intent to do God's will and a desire to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, these times can be of great benefit to us and those near.  Often in my quiet times I will ask myself, What is God's will for me in this situation? or What can I do to improve myself? or Is there anything I need to make amends for or repent of? I hope you'll take the opportunity to get some quiet time, especially in regards to the meaning of Easter for you and your family this season, and how you can better fill the role God has called you to.

Final note: I would consider Trappist Monk, Thomas Merton one of our modern fathers of what contemplation is all about.  I've read some of his work, and intend to go to the library for more.

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