A professor of mine in graduate school told the story of a young man (back before cars etc.) who grew up in a remote mountain setting next to a huge waterfall. Having lived his whole life next to the waterfall, he basically didn’t hear the roar of water as it thundered over the cliff into the canyon below. Years went by and when he reached adulthood he kissed his parents and gathered his belongings to make his way into the world. For the first time, he climbed down the steep mountain, away from home — and the waterfall. Suddenly he heard ‘silence’ for the very first time. He had been so used to the sound of the waterfall that he did not notice it until confronted by its absence.
I believe we are all similarly so filled with the music of the spheres and the presence of God that we cannot even begin to conceive what life would be like without them. But they are so universally, eternally present that we have grown used to not paying any attention whatsoever.
Contemplative prayer is the long, slow, but necessary process of learning to pay attention — to the presence of God, the reality of Divine Love, and the celestial melodies of the music of the spheres.