Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Contemplative Quotes

Posted,  April 4, 2018

On some calm days in prayer there may be a silence that drifts with ease into our soul and that seeks to make an encounter with God a perfectly actual experience. But it may not lead so readily to a graced time of prayer. Sometime the silence enjoyed in prayer can be seductive. It becomes its own pursuit. The enjoyment of it becomes a kind of indulged act, with less attention to God himself.

There is another kind of silence on different days that causes a strain in the soul, causing it to twist inwardly with a sense of emptiness and absence. It is the open quality of this silence that above all perhaps makes it forbidding and painful. But it must not be evaded or chased away. It may conceal its discord and opposition to the soul’s immediate desire a purification that will take our soul into deeper waters.

When the harder silence is lived through love, our soul keeps the turn of its attention to God. The painful aspect of the prayer belies an actual closeness to God that may be real. It is likely outside the hour of prayer that this is known, [as for example,] in the providential opportunities for charity that quickly show their face in the immediate day.

-- From: The Contemplative Hunger, by Father Donald Haggerty, Ignatius Press, p. 146-7.

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The Liturgy of the Hours, the Divine Office

What has Christ granted to us to know of this ineffable life of God in three Persons?

The Word, the eternal Son, is the “brightness of His (Father’s) glory and the figure of his substance” (Hebrews 1:3)—the Word, the Son, is essentially, the glory of His Father.

From all eternity, this Son in a single infinite Word which is Himself, expresses the Father’s perfection, and this is the essential glory that the Father receives. The Eternal Word is a Divine canticle singing the Father’s praise. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John, 1:1). From all eternity, He gives, has given, and will give, in this infinite and unique act which is Himself, eternal and adequate glory to His Father. This glory consists in the infinite knowledge that the Son has of His Father, of the perfections of His Father, and in the infinite appreciation that he utters concerning them: an appreciation equal to God, worthy of God; God has no need of any other glory.

This is the infinite hymn hat ever resounds in the bosom of the Father. The Word is the Canticle that God inwardly sings to Himself, the Canticle that rises up from the depths of the Divinity the Living Canticle wherein God eternally delights, because it is the infinite expression of His perfection.

The mystery of the Divine Life which we have just searched into with all reverence, bears in itself the fundamental reason and value, in particular, of the Liturgy of the Hours, continuing the divine mystery of God’s inner life of Light and Glory.
Christ’s Humanity is like the temple where the Word sings the Divine canticle which glorifies the Father; or rather, the Sacred Humanity is carried along in the current of the Divine Life. “I live by the Father” (John 6:58).

Christ does not separate Himself from His Mystical body. Before ascending into Heaven, He bequeaths His riches and mission to His Church. Christ in uniting Himself to the Church gives her His power of adoring and praising the Father; this is the Liturgy. It is the praise of the Church untied to Jesus, supported by Jesus; or rather it is the praise of Christ, the Incarnate Word, passing through the lips of the Church.

The Liturgy of he Hours is universal and innate prayer, the adoration, of the Church. It is the voice of the Bride of Christ. The great work, the triumph of the Divinity of Jesus, is to raise us, poor mortals, even up to His Father, uniting us to His prayer, the prayer of His Mystical Body, continuing His worship of the Father, here on earth, through the cycles of time and season.

--Adapted from Dom Marmion, Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, pp. 294-298.



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William Fredrickson