Contemplation

From my reading of the catechism of the Catholic Church I understand that for Christians contemplation is not a method but a gift from God that if granted can be practiced while washing dishes or walking or any time or even while meditating.

As far as I understand, contemplation is sitting in God’s presence, waiting on God, listening, like in Eucharistic adoration.

Is it okay to set aside a period of silence each day for contemplation?

For instance, I have been practicing aspirations (ejaculatory prayer) during the day. Could I practice aspirations to help me in contemplating in silence for a period of time daily or is this not a proper method?

It can be noted that there is acquired contemplation…and infused contemplation.

And to confuse things (unintentionally) there are various authors and various schools who use term “contemplation” differently…in their writings (over the centuries)

(and I am meaning here even only those who writers and schools that do not depart from faithfulness to the Church or who are not Christians to begin with -the term gets used in various ways among them as well).

Though a basic outline that I use to explain things is that it can be said that there is acquired contemplation --which can be on a philosophical level (read Josef Pieper on “natural contempation”) or on the theological level …and there can be even the ordinary kind like that of a mother “contemplating” her sleeping child or our contemplating nature. These are a true contemplation.

And there can be “acquired contemplation” in the sense of a kind of contemplation in prayer where things become more of a intuitive gaze (to look and love) etc (such as prayer of simplicity). (within which too God might begin to give infused contemplation as well)

And then there is “infused contemplation”…infused by God. Which also involves looking and loving.

Yes. Most certainly.

Do.

As Saint Bruno notes --the fruit of silence is known by those who experience it.

Silence is the environmental condition most conducive to contemplation, to listening to God and to meditation. The very fact of enjoying silence and letting ourselves be “filled”, so to speak, with silence, disposes us to prayer. ~ Pope Benedict XVI August 2011

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2011/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20110810_en.html

The use of such short prayers during the day is an ancient practice in the Church.

Yes!

Like a spark of love … like a spark from a coal…

Helping one keep the presence of God during the day – to nourish ones love and keep ones heart orientated towards God as one put it.

So it is okay to pray aspirations on occasion as a focus while I silently contemplate Christ’s presence while doing nothing else?

I pray aspirations during the day but how about during silent contemplation?

Most certainly (had been so for at least 1700 years…)

Pray such short prayers – during the day --or even during time one has set aside for prayer (in the sense of making use of such ejaculatory prayers during the more “formal time” of prayer -I am not endorsing here per se any non-Christian practice or modern approach here --but the ancient use of ejaculatory prayers --short prayers).

(Feel free to pm me if I can help further)

Thanks. I’m just making sure I am understanding prayer correctly.

If your aspirations unite you more closely to God, then why wouldn’t you want to pray them? Words are not prohibited in contemplation; words can serve to unite us more closely with Our Lord, bringing about deeper contemplation. Sure, some people say that it is better not to use words when in contemplation; but if aspirations unite you more closely to Our Lord, do not be afraid at all to use them – they will be serving your contemplative prayer, not harming it. God bless you.

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