Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Contemplative Quotes

Posted,  June 2, 2018

“Recollection in silence, the state of the person’s being most with himself, is an indispensable condition for this being with the Other [God-Trinity] that is closer to him than he is to himself.
“When the mind is habituated to noise, it creates this [noise] for itself even in the absence of sound by chattering to itself, whether verbally or imaginatively. As the imagination recreates visual images intensely or repeatedly impressed on the eyes when the eyes are closed, so also does it produce distraction and dissonance for the mind at home in the elsewhere of the audible and inaudible hum. A mind that lives elsewhere and otherwise is seldom itself and encounters itself unexpectedly, sporadically, and with a hard shock.
“Silence is not an empty space to be filled but is full of meaning for him who has ears to hear it. The person draws himself toward silence by collecting himself—his faculty, attentions, and intentions—and yet it is silence itself, with its Word beyond all human significance, that finally draws the person. When the person refrains from the distraction of chatter and the fabrication of (often banal) meaning, it is in the abyss to which he has entrusted himself that her finds himself
“The proper treatment of this subject [silence] begins and ends with the Word; our starting point here is the silence of Jesus recorded in the Gospels and the point of arrival is the sense in which silence is conducive to a relationship with Christ.”
--William L. Brownsberger. Silence. Communio (P O Box 4557, Washington, DC. 20017), Winter 2009, XXXVI, 4, pp. 587-588.

Previous quote:

“Recollection is a drawing of the person together in focus on God.
“To the degree that God is not thematically present as the object of focus and does not present determined perceptions, recollection is a stillness in the open and undetermined.
“’[T]he purpose of this exercise [recollection] is to gather and collect that which is dispersed…. [T]oday when we refer to someone as recollected, or one who is quiet and tranquil, we mean little more than that he is withdrawn, removed, pure in conversation. Although that is very good, it is not sufficient to warrant the term recollection, which in truest and oldest meaning expresses a state similar to that suggested by the word union….’(Francisco Osuna).
“Freedom from slavery to sin and distraction are not insignificant, but it is in the heart of recollection that this freedom finds its truest purpose. It is not the human person who finally assigns this purpose to his self-recollection, nor does he bring it to fruition. Although the exercise of recollection is cultivated as an activity, in its fullness it entails passivity with respect to God; it is God who bringss recollection and silence to completion.”
--William L. Brownsberger. Silence. Communio (P O Box 4557, Washington, DC. 20017), Winter 2009, XXXVI, 4, pp. 589-590.



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