Contemplation Exercise: Here I Am Prayer

Spiritual Direction 101 | 7/22/2019 | Staff
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Contemplation is the stillness we need to be aware of God’s presence. Jesuit theologian Walter Burghart calls it “the long, loving look at the Real.” It is long because our relationship with God (like our relationships with people) takes time. We must devote ample time to this Person we love. It is loving because we need to shed our judgments and fears and open ourselves to love just as we are. It is a look because we must face it. Denial is the enemy. And it is the Real because God is not interested in phoniness. We are being invited by God to look at our lives as they are, not as we would like them to be. Therefore, whatever is real to us is what we bring to contemplation and awareness before God. It need not be something high and mighty or a matter of only the gravest concern. It need only be that which is real to us right now.

Reading this, you may think, “I’m just not contemplative by nature, it’s not for me,” but before you make that assumption, consider that contemplation is not a personality trait, such as introversion. Many highly introverted people are contemplative but so are many highly extraverted people. Anyone can take a “long, loving look at the Real” whether they are quiet and introspective or chatty and outward-directed. You do not have to be a pro at sitting in silence, although taking time to be in silence (even for a few minutes at a time) is helpful in contemplation. Some activities listed here involve a lot of silence and others are interspersed with silence. If you find silence troubling, start with small doses and see if your comfort level doesn’t shift somewhat over time.

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(Excerpt) Read more at: Spiritual Direction 101
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