Notice the transforming presence of God within you. Let go of words and images. Surrender all that is stirring, even if only briefly, and rest for a few minutes in God’s embrace.
We are used to meditating on Good Friday, to calling to mind various images of Christ’s life and our own, and turning our thoughts towards God in a special way. Contemplation, on the other hand, invites us to let go of our thoughts and simply receive God and God’s love deeply within us.
In my own prayer life, I find that this is something I fail to do far too often. I find it easy to think about scripture passages or even illuminations, and I am excellent at telling God what I want. When I get to the end of my litany of wants, I even leave a space for God to speak to me.
I sometimes run my prayer like a business meeting, you see. “Nothing else on my agenda, God. How about on yours? Nothing? Okay, see you next Thursday.” And before I know it my attention is turned elsewhere.
Contemplation invites us to view prayer as something other than a business meeting. Sure, you have an agenda, and we are even instructed by Christ to bring these things before God. But after the “business” is taken care of, Contemplation invites us to simply sit with an old friend — to enjoy their company.
Maybe a better image than a business meeting is that moment when an old friend or relative, who has traveled far to visit, almost has to leave. You drink in the details and want every moment to last longer. You recognize how truly important they are to you, and appreciate them just for being who they are.
Lord, help me to stop, let go of words and images, and simply rest in your presence.
© Suffering Servant, Donald Jackson, 2005. The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.