Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Contemplative Quotes

God, the Spouse, Who is within, … “and making thee His equal, joyfully revealing to thee … His countenance, full of graces, and saying to thee: ‘I AM THINE and for thee, and I delight to be such as I am that I may give Myself to thee and be thine.’”‘—St. John of the Cross, The Living Flame of Love, III, #6


“In the inner cellar of my beloved have I drunk. …
There he gave me his breast:
There he taught me science most delectable;
And I gave myself to him indeed, reserving nothing;
There I promised him to be his bride.”

        The delectable science which she says here that He taught her is mystical theology—the secret science of God, which spiritual men call contemplation—this is  most delectable, since it is science through love, the which love is its master and that which makes it to be wholly delectable. 
        And inasmuch as God communicates to  the soul this science and knowledge in the love wherewith He communicates Himself to her, it is delectable to her understanding, since it is a science which pertains thereto; and likewise it is delectable to her will, since it consists in love, which pertains to the will.

--St. John of the Cross, The Spiritual Canticle, 26:5; 27:#5. (E.Allison Peers translation)


I have come to find the term  presence a more central and more useful category for grasping the unifying note in the varieties of Christian mysticism.
Thus we can say that the mystical [/contemplative] element in Christianity is that part of its beliefs and practices that concern the preparation for, the consciousness of, and the reaction to what can be described as immediate and direct [transforming] presence of God.
--from Bernard McGinn, The Presence of God….The Foundations of Mysticism,  Vol. 1, p.xvii.


“Music that is silent,

And solitude that sings.”
La musica callada,
La soledad Sonora.”
-- St. John of the Cross, The Spiritual Canticle, 14 &15 Stanza, Expositions, 25 – 27  (Peers translation)

For questions, comments or other communication, please contact:
William Fredrickson