Reflections from a Journey into God with the Prayer of the Eastern Christian Contemplative Tradition
Contemplative prayer is known as the 'prayer of the heart' or, more accurately, the 'prayer of the mind in the heart'. Contemplation begins when we cooperate with the prompting of the Holy Spirit in releasing the personal “I” in meditation to make room for the ultimate “other” in God. It is a turning from words and thoughts to the presence of God.
Contemplative prayer is the ultimate surrender to God. It is a communion in which the Holy Trinity conforms the person, who was made in the image of God, to His likeness.
While vocal, meditative, and contemplative prayer are not purely linear progressions of prayer, it is reasonable to think of frequent vocal prayer and consistent meditative prayer as the prerequisites to contemplative prayer. Thus, the entrance into contemplative prayer requires time, effort, and perseverance through the trials of life, the obstacles that inevitably interrupt, and the spiritual dryness that can occur.
Contemplative prayer is intense, powerful, and requires humility. It purifies the heart. It teaches us to see the world through God’s eyes. It is a renunciation of self before the Lord.
It is Holy Silence.