Contemplation is seeing the world through God’s eyes with the spiritual revelation there is much more to life than our five senses. It is the contemplative awareness of the eternal dimension of life. Jesus portrayed it as living life in the fullness of the divine kingdom of God. God is the one who is behind the mystery of all that is seen and unseen. The resurrected Christ encourages us to focus on the invisible presence of God in everything we do. It is the gift of seeing with spiritual eyes the eternal perspective of the world and partaking of God’s nature in it.
We now have the hope of no longer living as mere mortals lost, alone and separated from God, but alive to breathe in the Eternal Now of the spirit. This awakening is more than a heightened Gnostic belief of intellectual perception. It is letting our old way of life pass away and to see life from a heavenly realm and light. The apostle Paul describes one moment as being caught up into the third heaven where he said no eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has prepared for those who believe. Like Paul, we can also be immersed in being “God Conscious.” Paradise is all around us, and we miss it chasing the mundane trappings of the world.
It is a state of our inner being and self where we are aware of the spiritual presence of Christ living moment by moment in us transforming our lives by God’s divine nature of love. It is revealed by the grace of God that we are no longer alienated from God who desires fellowship with us and all we can do is respond to it. It is the response of God to the longing cry of our heart for intimacy and a relationship with the Triune God. The contemplative person seeks communion and union with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the silence. In the garden, paradise was lost as man chose the created order over the Creator. The contemplative life seeks to reconnect us in our spirit to the uncreated Spirit God which is the source of life and who desires a relationship with us.
Jesus prayed in John chapter seventeen, and verse twenty-one that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. His prayer was we would be one with Him and the Father. Contemplation is a description of how this union with God takes place in our lives today. It is not humanly achieved but is God’s divine initiative for seeking fellowship with all humanity. The only part you and I bring to the table is the willingness to be open and responsive to the movement of God. It is the openness of letting Christ live his life in our inner being as we surrender our lives over to His will. In those moments we experience being made whole and complete in Christ and being made one with all creation. (The Goal of Contemplative Prayer)
“Strictly speaking, contemplation is an immediate and in some sense passive intuition of the inmost reality, of our spiritual self and of God present within us. “ Chapter 5: The Inner Experience by Thomas Merton