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  • “is a certain inflowing of God into the soul” * (St. John of the Cross)
  • prepares us for living in God’s presence, in everyday life, and even from moment to moment
  • allows God’s love to enter the world through us in a special way
  • transforms our consciousness
  • teaches us how to slip free of created things and temporal concerns
  • offers conscious, loving, and abiding contact with God
  • deepens intuition and the sense of oneness with God
  • liberates us from the stress of the noisy and accelerated pace of the contemporary scene and the information explosion
  • enhances creativity 

  • OMOH: 5-12, 145, 146
  • *OMOH: 11-17, 186
  • MG: 107-114
  • JC: 88-89
  • IL: 90-94, 127-129
  • IG: 39-45

Contemplation is not a withdrawal from life. It prepares us for action and living in the world. The contemplative dimension of the Gospel is the essential aspect of evangelization. It results in the gradual transformation of consciousness. In the early Christian church, the contemplative dimension was recognized as the normal development of the grace of Baptism and the growth of faith, hope, and love.

Related Concepts




The contemplative dimension of the Gospel is the essential aspect of evangelization. Contemplation prepares us for a transformation of consciousness. It is an innate capacity of human nature, a gift that has been given and which is waiting to be activated.

Every kind of genuine prayer leads to contemplation. Contemplation teaches us the right attitude towards created things and temporal concerns, in which we encounter confusion and the afflictive emotions like fear, grief, and anger.

Centering Prayer or other forms of non-conceptual prayer allow God’s grace to take us into contemplation. Contemplation, subject to God’s timing, leads to oneness with God.

Human history and the wisdom of the world’s religions proclaim that today’s conflicts, pain, and injustices cannot be adequately addressed by new institutions, finances, innovative programs, military coercion, or technology. The human family is transformed, one by one, small group by small group.


 Reflection: Listening

Contemplation allows God to enter our consciousness in the most intimate way.

Reflection: Reflecting

How does contemplation prepare you for activity? In what significant ways has your consciousness been transformed?

Reflection: Responding

Work free of attachment to created things. Let go of excessive temporal concerns. Help to transform the world through your gifts and calling in life.