Here are some nuggets from this afternoon's talk from Jim Noonan:
Jim spoke about contemplative prayer to our group for whom "action is essential."
Service to the poor and to those in need is essential to our response as Church.
The Spirit will call us to offer different service in different circumstances.
Without prayer and contemplation, that quiet time for the Spirit to fill us, direct us and send us, it will be possible for us to carry on, but our actions will be radically different when we allow contemplation to influence our heart and the ways we relate to God, ourselves and others.
As this enriches our lives, it entities the lives of those with whom we relate; they, in turn, go and enrich others. Life has evolved and we are all interconnected. But are we aware if this?
Karl Rahner stated that in the future the Christian will be a mystic or will not be a Christian. We need to think of mystics as more than a few elite holy people. We start where we are and become conscious of being in touch with God here in the ordinary things of life. One who experiences the presence of God and in our hearts, and one who sees situations where God is not present or at least not evident, this person is a mystic.
Whatever our stage is, as long as we are conscious, we are able to respond to love and live around us. This has nothing to do with how active or busy we are, but rather how mentally and spiritually open we are. We must recognize the blockages that prevent us from growing: resentments, grudges, prejudices, fears, hurts---these prevent our spirits from flying and being free.
We can be old, paralyzed and bed-ridden and still grow spiritually if we seek communion with God and others.
The fruits of contemplation are peace, love for others, connection, hopefulness and gratitude (which is at the heart of our Christian life). Jim suggests for each minute spent feeling sorry for ourselves, we spend ten minutes giving thanks for all we have and are.
The experience of mystery, awe before the presense of God here and now, a sense of wonder at the miracle of life and creation underpins our contemplation.