Contemplative Prayer


#1

I’m in RCIA. And my love of the Rosary is growing still.

I am reading books on the Rosary such as “The Rosary Chain of Hope” by Father Groeschel. If anyone has a problem remembering what the mysteries are, I really recommend this book by Father Groeschel. And the book is easier to read than it looks, because there are pictures and many blank pages in it. One chapter a day is not hard to read.

I also started reading “The Secret of the Rosary” by St. Louis Grignion de Montfort. I just bought it (a new 2004 printing). The new printing includes a look at the new Luminous Mysteries and a sample of how they can be said in St. Louis de Montfort’s Methods 1 to IV. I think I’ll read only one new rose a day and also re-read the rose from the day before. The red rose introduction implies that I might obtain contrition for my sins.

Last Monday night, our RCIA was about prayer.

Vocal Prayer. Speaking wrote prayers such as “Hail Mary”.

Mental Prayer including both Discoursive Prayer (using words to talk with God) and Contemplative Prayer.

Questions: I suppose am not yet to the point of much Contemplative Prayer in praying the Rosary. But I think there are times when I do experience Contemplative Prayer.

Proposed analogy: Suppose I was a young boy and loved to play baseball. And I liked to read about it and watch it on TV. Probably I have my favorite team. Now suppose I go to Cooperstown New York and instead of being rushed about by my parents, I am allowed the time to look and marvel at the uniform or glove or bat of one of my heroes. Is that marveling a form of contemplation? Inwardly saying “O man, wow, look at that, etc.” I suppose that is contemplative because such an experience has a meaning that is somewhat beyond words.

If you think my analogy is contemplative, then I think there have been a few times during this last year where my Prayer experience has been Contemplative. Or is contemplative prayer more than this?


#2

I could be wrong…but not many people in this world experience cotemplative prayer…it is not that we are bad Catholics, etc…it is just on a level beyond the normal person. I know I have never experienced it…and there are those that think they have but have not…

[quote=jmm08]I’m in RCIA. And my love of the Rosary is growing still.

I am reading books on the Rosary such as “The Rosary Chain of Hope” by Father Groeschel. If anyone has a problem remembering what the mysteries are, I really recommend this book by Father Groeschel. And the book is easier to read than it looks, because there are pictures and many blank pages in it. One chapter a day is not hard to read.

I also started reading “The Secret of the Rosary” by St. Louis Grignion de Montfort. I just bought it (a new 2004 printing). The new printing includes a look at the new Luminous Mysteries and a sample of how they can be said in St. Louis de Montfort’s Methods 1 to IV. I think I’ll read only one new rose a day and also re-read the rose from the day before. The red rose introduction implies that I might obtain contrition for my sins.

Last Monday night, our RCIA was about prayer.

Vocal Prayer. Speaking wrote prayers such as “Hail Mary”.

Mental Prayer including both Discoursive Prayer (using words to talk with God) and Contemplative Prayer.

Questions: I suppose am not yet to the point of much Contemplative Prayer in praying the Rosary. But I think there are times when I do experience Contemplative Prayer.

Proposed analogy: Suppose I was a young boy and loved to play baseball. And I liked to read about it and watch it on TV. Probably I have my favorite team. Now suppose I go to Cooperstown New York and instead of being rushed about by my parents, I am allowed the time to look and marvel at the uniform or glove or bat of one of my heroes. Is that marveling a form of contemplation? Inwardly saying “O man, wow, look at that, etc.” I suppose that is contemplative because such an experience has a meaning that is somewhat beyond words.

If you think my analogy is contemplative, then I think there have been a few times during this last year where my Prayer experience has been Contemplative. Or is contemplative prayer more than this?
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#3

[quote=jmm08]I’m in RCIA. And my love of the Rosary is growing still.

I am reading books on the Rosary such as “The Rosary Chain of Hope” by Father Groeschel. If anyone has a problem remembering what the mysteries are, I really recommend this book by Father Groeschel. And the book is easier to read than it looks, because there are pictures and many blank pages in it. One chapter a day is not hard to read.

I also started reading “The Secret of the Rosary” by St. Louis Grignion de Montfort. I just bought it (a new 2004 printing). The new printing includes a look at the new Luminous Mysteries and a sample of how they can be said in St. Louis de Montfort’s Methods 1 to IV. I think I’ll read only one new rose a day and also re-read the rose from the day before. The red rose introduction implies that I might obtain contrition for my sins.
[/quote]

Personally, I love St. Louis Montfort’s “Secret of the Rosary”, it can certainly help one understand and benefit more from the recitation of the Rosary.

[quote=jmm08]Last Monday night, our RCIA was about prayer.

Vocal Prayer. Speaking wrote prayers such as “Hail Mary”.

Mental Prayer including both Discoursive Prayer (using words to talk with God) and Contemplative Prayer.

Questions: I suppose am not yet to the point of much Contemplative Prayer in praying the Rosary. But I think there are times when I do experience Contemplative Prayer.

Proposed analogy: Suppose I was a young boy and loved to play baseball. And I liked to read about it and watch it on TV. Probably I have my favorite team. Now suppose I go to Cooperstown New York and instead of being rushed about by my parents, I am allowed the time to look and marvel at the uniform or glove or bat of one of my heroes. Is that marveling a form of contemplation? Inwardly saying “O man, wow, look at that, etc.” I suppose that is contemplative because such an experience has a meaning that is somewhat beyond words.

If you think my analogy is contemplative, then I think there have been a few times during this last year where my Prayer experience has been Contemplative. Or is contemplative prayer more than this?
[/quote]

Unfortunately (at least according to the contemplative Doctors of the Church - Sts. John of the Cross and Teresa of Jesus), what you are experiencing is not contemplative prayer.

It would take a great deal of space to adequately surmize it for you here, but I can give you a quick overview. Contemplative prayer is a form of prayer infused by God, not something that we can do on our own. It’s ultimate expression is in a transforming union of our soul with God. According to these Saints, one must first begin to live the Gospels uncompromisingly and completely detach oneself from the things of the world before he or she can receive this infused prayer. Then our souls undergo purification (ala the sanjuanist “Dark Night of the Soul”) before entering the advanced stages of contemplation (ala the teresian “Mansions”).

Anyhow, there are many on here who are more qualified than I to expound on contemplative prayer, but this should be a decent brief sketch. If you are interesed in learning more, I couldn’t recommend Fr. Thomas DuBay’s book “Fire Within” more highly.

Hope this helps!


#4

[quote=dumspirospero]I could be wrong…but not many people in this world experience cotemplative prayer…it is not that we are bad Catholics, etc…it is just on a level beyond the normal person. I know I have never experienced it…and there are those that think they have but have not…
[/quote]

The Church promotes a universal call to contemplation. It is not a form of prayer that is “not for everyone” or “just for the saintly”, but is for everyone. Unfortunately most people believe that it is not for them, so they never learn how. Calls to contemplation (or examples of contemplation) abound in both the New and Old Testaments of the Bible, and for my part, I believe it to be the fullest expresion of our purpose in life.


#5

Ask six people, and you’ll get six definitions of “contemplation.”

Actually, your Baseball Hall of Fame description is a very good one for a certain kind of contemplative prayer.

Others restrict the term to a direct infusion from God over which the person in prayer has no control. This is best described by the Baroque Spanish mystics, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross.

Another kind of contemplative prayer is being widely promoted by Contemplative Outreach.

For the Rosary, an excellent book is by Robert Llewellyn: ** A Doorway to Silence: The Contemplative Use of the Rosary.* *It’s available from several sources on the Internet if you do a search.


#6

[quote=mtr01]Unfortunately (at least according to the contemplative Doctors of the Church - Sts. John of the Cross and Teresa of Jesus), what you are experiencing is not contemplative prayer.
[/quote]

If you are correct, I don’t think the word “unfortunately” is accurate. It is very fortunate that there are more deeper experiences than what I have experienced so far.


#7

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