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Switch to Forum Live View What Is Contemplative Spirituality?
6 years ago  ::  Dec 01, 2007 - 10:22AM #1
Whisperingal
Posts: 25,009
I have no idea what's meant by the term "contemplative spirituality."

What do you think it means?


Sending good thoughts for all.

WGal
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 01, 2007 - 10:22AM #2
Whisperingal
Posts: 25,009
I have no idea what's meant by the term "contemplative spirituality."

What do you think it means?


Sending good thoughts for all.

WGal
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 02, 2007 - 3:18PM #3
kurnell
Posts: 305
A few ideas,
Contemplative spirituality has an emphasis on waiting on God, learning to listen for God 's  voice within and without.Becoming aware of the present, learning to see God present in everything and everyone.It values silence rather than words.learning to BE rather than DO.
Peace
Jeffrey
Treasure your experience of God,however it comes to you.Remember that Christianity is not a notion but a way.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 02, 2007 - 11:56PM #4
MissFire
Posts: 22
I like your definition about as well as any I have ever heard.   In fact, I just happened to pull up your post and this web site tonight as I was procrastinating. It's the only reason I signed on.  Have you ever read Abandonment to Divine Providence. Here's an exercept I like a lot:

So it is no business of ours to decide what our submission to God will bring to us.
All we must do is submit to everything and be ready for every possibility. 
In this free offering of the soul to God he demands three things:
renunciaiton, obedience, and love.

Everything else is his affair.

If we carefully fulfill the duties imposed on  us by our state of life,
if we quietly follow any impulse coming from God,
if we peacefully submit to the influence of grace,
we are making an act of total abandonment.

Abandonment to Divine Providence, p. 66
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 03, 2007 - 9:26PM #5
MissFire
Posts: 22
"It values silence rather than words.learning to BE rather than DO."

This type of statement confused me for a long time.   It seemed inconsistent with my experience.  I don't believe that being a contemplative means that one  actually "be silent" as opposed to talking or that one do nothing during a certain period of time (while being silent...), because acquiring the designation of  a "contemplative" surely cannot be  based upon what one does for an hour or even two a day...

Rather, I think silence referred to is not the lack of sound; it is more like an interior silence wherein one blocks out the voices and noises that distract one from hearing the voice of God.  One has to learn to do this at all times of the day and night, even when in the middle of a conversation. 

And the empahsis on "being" rather than "doing" does not prevent one from doing all that God has sent us to do.  Rather, "being" is more like a very peaceful reassurance that allows one to "rest" in God at all times, because you have no need to pursue things that don't matter or worry since He has assured you he will give you all you need when you need it.

While sitting in a lotus position reciting some mantra may help some find God, I find him in the eyes and smiles and tears of the people to whom He sends me.  And when I feel the overwhelming love I have for even the most helpless and vulnerable, I believe I understand the great love He has for me when I entrust myself totally to Him.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 03, 2007 - 9:54PM #6
Theanchorage
Posts: 20
You might be more responsive to Mysticism, of which contemplative prayer is a part.  It involves both active and passive devotion -- study, reflection, prayer and good acts.  Self-abandonment to Divine Providence is probably one of the best books you can find on the subject.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 03, 2007 - 10:41PM #7
MissFire
Posts: 22
You might be right. A few years ago, a lawyer tried to discredit me in a deposition (an estate battle where I was the best witness of the state of mind of the decedent) by trying to paint me as a mystic because of some things I had written.  I didn't even know what a mystic was. I had to go look it up. Needless to say, he was unsuccessful. He asked the wrong questions. Since I'm a lawyer, I know not to answer anything that is not asked...  not to volunteer.  The case settled shortly thereafter, favorably.  Anyway, since then, I have read a few books to which I have been drawn or directed, but have always preferred not to read what others say I should be experiencing in favor of simply experiencing.  It's sort of like the same reason I don't watch TV. Why would I want to watch characters who don't exist do things that don't really happen and live lives that don't matter, when I could be living my own experience.  I see we have the same taste in books. I have the same authors as you on my shelves (even if I haven't had time to read them...)  Thanks for your response.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 12:44AM #8
Whisperingal
Posts: 25,009
Jeffry and Miss Fire--thanks so much for your responses.

I'm wondering--based on what you've said--if you feel that "Spritiuality" must have as its end--God specifically?

Thanks in advance for further info.

Sending good thoughts your way.
WGal
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 1:28AM #9
MissFire
Posts: 22
Well "spirituality" is definitional.  I believe one can define spirituality in his or her own terms such that God is not necesarily the end for some.  I am, however, no expert in any of this. This is based on my observation. In addition, YourDictionary.com defines "spiritual" this way:

spir·it·ual (spir′i c̸ho̵̅o̅ əl)

adjective

of the spirit or the soul as distinguished from the body or material matters
of, from, or concerned with the intellect; intellectual
of or consisting of spirit; not corporeal
characterized by the ascendancy of the spirit; showing much refinement of thought and feeling
of religion or the church; sacred, devotional, or ecclesiastical; not lay or temporal
spiritualistic or supernatural

Nothing in this necesitates God as the end or object of spirituality.  In my way of thinking, it's pretty open-ended and lends itself nicely to many things, some of which have nothing or little to do with "God" or a god.  To me, saying one is "spiritual" really could mean just about anything.    I would not think of myself as "spiritual" merely because I think of myself as something more specific, although perhaps undefined...  This is, however, all just my opinion and feeling on it. I could be way off base.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 4:18AM #10
kurnell
Posts: 305
I have read the above mentioned book but struggled with its main premise.According to the author, everything that happens is the result of God's direct or permissive will, and thus for our good.Now that sounds good and is very reassuring but how does it go in real life?
To the young rape victim, civilian casulties in Iraq, my neighbour racked with pain from his cancer...I say... this is God's will, this is for your good, your sanctification etc. I'm sorry but I can't follow this kind of theology to its logical conclusion.
God does will some things in life. God does allow some things in life also. But there are things that happen that do not come under the previous realms. This is the realm of injustice, cruelty, and domination by others. I see Jesus discerning this and not submitting to it but rather exposing it for what it is and calling for real change.
I have experienced the result of the above teaching and it leaves Christians like 'door mats' that all and sundry walk over believing this to be God's will. They end up with major psychological problems for the rest of their lives, I know, I have been one of them.
God is in the circumstances of life, to help, heal and teach. But that is not the same as saying that God is behind all the circumstances of life, therefore we must submit to them believing they will do us good. We do so to our own peril.
Peace
Jeffrey.
Treasure your experience of God,however it comes to you.Remember that Christianity is not a notion but a way.
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