How do we understand contemplation?
We understand contemplation as the process simply
of making connections between God and any thing, person, memory, or event. God is the origin and ever-present
foundation for all existent beings, and when a person or community connects their lives to God, they begin to contemplate.
The Greek word for contemplation is theoria,
which originally means to send a person to consult an oracle for the people and by extension means to see the mind of the
divine. Contemplation is the process of training the eye, the mind, the emotions, and the body to “see”
God in everything. Contemplation traces the associations and connections of every person and thing back
Contemplation involves working through
the appearances and surface of things, persons, relationships, and experiences to find God’s pervasive presence.
Contemplatives, that is, look beyond the mere appearance of things as disconnected from each other and God, and seek
that perspective in which God is evident and present.
working through of appearances demands hard work, because humans are not predisposed to seeing God as present.
The process of working through the false appearance that God is not present involves training the mind, the emotions,
the body, in essence all human energy to relate to God directly.