Father Armand M. Nigro, S.J.
(No copyright. May be freely distributed)
The following “FIVE KEY WORDS” summarize the whole contemplative experience with God, especially in the Gospels.
Yes, truly be there. Have you ever talked with someone who was with you bodily, but not present to you with attention and heart? God soaks our entire being and entire universe with His creating, divinizing presence – God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Be aware of God’s loving presence in all around you.
Hunger and long for God. Prepare for God’s coming in His Word, as you would want and eagerly prepare for a visit with the dearest person in your life. Invite God to reveal and communicate Himself to you, to speak to you and teach you how to listen to Him. Choose God.
Listen with faith, deeply and reverently; listen with trust; listen with hunger to be fed by His Word; listen with gratitude and in peace, without searching for hidden meanings. Forget about implications, applications, conclusions, resolutions, lessons, etc. Be simple, like a child nestled in its parent’s or grandparent’s lap, securely listening to a story.
Let God what? Let go of all disordered desires and just let God be in and with you, and be whatever God wants to be for you. Let god take you through consolation or dryness or trials. But LET God. What God wants, God deserves. Trust yourself to God.
Respond in any way you choose or feel moved to respond. Be genuinely yourself and respond honestly, freely, spontaneously, reverently. Speak what is in your heart; say what you feel, even when you feel like complaining. Remember that when you don’t know what to say, the Holy Spirit prays in you and for you. Just speaking or whispering “Abba” or “Jesus”, or “Holy Spirit” or “Thank You” or :I love you, too” rhythmically with your breathing; or repeating words of praise and thanks, are profoundly prayerful responses.
CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER, YOU SEE, IS MORE LISTENING TO, AND BEING AWARE OF GOD OUR FATHER AND OF JESUS AND THEIR SPIRITRATHER THAN SAYING OR DOING ANYTHING. IT IS MORE SOMETHING GOD DOES FOR US THAN ANYTHING WE DO FOR GOD. IT IS CONSCIOUSLY BEING WITH HIM AND LETTING HIM BE GOD, THE LOVING FATHER HE IS; LETTING HIM AND JESUS FILL US WITH THEIR HOLY SPIRIT AND LETTNG JESUS BECOME MORE AND MORE REAL AND ALIVE FOR US.