Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Contemplative Notes

Contemplative Notes


Posted, April 4,   2018


 Guidelines for the Exercise of Contemplative Prayer



* Have a place of silence and solitude for your exercise of silent prayer.. 

* Put aside a prolonged period of time for the prayer: —some timing device could be used—  20 minutes, 10 minutes, half an hour: Whatever you can gather together.

* Chose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.  The name of our Lord, Jesus, comes to mind or such a name associated.


And in the morning, a great while before day, Jesus rose and went out to a lonely place and there he prayed. Mark 1:35


And when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Revelation 8:1


God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow ….Philippians 2:9-10



Sit in a comfortable but attentive posture; eyes closed; hands resting still; feet  on the floor.  Place your body and mind at rest, as a still offering of sacrifice to God which is your silent attentiveness on God, as your sacrificial offering of love, your adoration.


I appeal to you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2.



Have no other mental activity other than to consent in love to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, dwelling within you,  by mentally pronouncing and echoing one Sacred Word, as for example, the Name of Jesus or by observing the gentle, steady, movement of your breath—that represents your surrender of love and consent to God.


When thoughts, or memories, or commentary, or images, or ideas of projects, or even religious phrases arise, go gently back to the Sacred Word as the simple renewal of your intention.  Take no refuge in any mental construct other than in the silence, the Presence of God within in the mystery of God’s dwelling within as in a temple.


Take refuge in the Sacred Word only when you become engaged with thoughts.


But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.  God is spirit, and those who worship him, must worship in spirit and truth.  John 4: 23-24.


VI. At the end of the time put aside for this exercise, slowly recite the Our Father,

When the committed time is finished, remain in silence for few moments.  , or verses from John 17.





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The true contemplative has no desire to preoccupy himself or herself with the active life—rather be, immersed in life but not swept away in the rumination of the fantasy about the details and their impact.


The contemplative must  resist the impulse to explain himself to others, especially to detractors.  Love of esteem and affection is the immense block to divine union in naked love.


“Mary, Martha’s sister, was contemplating with all the love of her heart, the supreme and sovereign wisdom of Christ’s godhead, clothed in the dark words of his manhood.”


“The contemplative must take hold of God by the handle of his humanity and embrace the feet of God.”


--William Fredrickson, Obl.OSB, D.Min.


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