A “Method” of Prayer for (Busy) Contemplatives

Contemplative in the Mud

There is one “method” of contemplative prayer that I like very much.

To be strictly true, any method implies a discursive or measured use of our thoughts, our reason, and so on. So it’s better to say that it relates to meditation, not contemplation.

Brother CharlesBut as far as methods go, there’s one that throws itself straight at contemplation. I picked it up from Blessed Charles de Foucauld, who seems to have “invented” it. Brother Charles was a great reader of Saint Teresa and Saint John of the Cross. As much as he loved to meditate on the Gospels, he placed the right value on talking with Jesus, on contemplation, on love. He put that first. For Charles, all methods, all meditations, came second.

Blessed Charles’ method is like this.

  1. “Jesus, what do you want to say to me? … [listen] …”
  2. “This is what I want to say to you, Jesus: … [form thoughts]…

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