Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Contemplative Quotes

Humanity is created to share in the Sabbath repose, to be sure, but it is also imprinted in its being, as image of God, with the task to ‘spiritualize’ matter and to enable the Word and the Spirit to fulfill their mission to establish the peace and Sabbath rest of God on earth.”

--Keith Lemna, The Apocalypse of Wisdom: Louis Bouyer’s Theological Recovery of the Cosmos,” p.101


“In the inner cellar of my beloved have I drunk. …
There he gave me his breast:
There he taught me science most delectable;
And I gave myself to him indeed, reserving nothing;
There I promised him to be his bride.”

        The delectable science which she says here that He taught her is mystical theology—the secret science of God, which spiritual men call contemplation—this is  most delectable, since it is science through love, the which love is its master and that which makes it to be wholly delectable. 
        And inasmuch as God communicates to  the soul this science and knowledge in the love wherewith He communicates Himself to her, it is delectable to her understanding, since it is a science which pertains thereto; and likewise it is delectable to her will, since it consists in love, which pertains to the will.

--St. John of the Cross, The Spiritual Canticle, 26:5; 27:#5. (E.Allison Peers translation)


I have come to find the term  presence a more central and more useful category for grasping the unifying note in the varieties of Christian mysticism.
Thus we can say that the mystical [/contemplative] element in Christianity is that part of its beliefs and practices that concern the preparation for, the consciousness of, and the reaction to what can be described as immediate and direct [transforming] presence of God.
--from Bernard McGinn, The Presence of God….The Foundations of Mysticism,  Vol. 1, p.xvii.


“Music that is silent,

And solitude that sings.”
La musica callada,
La soledad Sonora.”
-- St. John of the Cross, The Spiritual Canticle, 14 &15 Stanza, Expositions, 25 – 27  (Peers translation)


For questions, comments or other communication, please contact:
William Fredrickson