Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Contemplative Quotes

Posted,  December 7, 2017


“If a soul becomes genuinely contemplative, a deeper desire within converges more and more upon a single need: to given itself in a complete offering to God.  Only in that act can our soul discovers a way to assuage the increasing taste of poverty whit bin itself.  The poverty as it intensifies seems to assert an absence of any possession that might be offered to God.  And, indeed, it is true that our soul has nothing it can take as its own and extend to God as a gift.  There is only one gift that can be made, and that is a complete offering of ourselves in love.  The irony is in this that the poverty of the contemplative, the emptiness that fills our soul when poverty is realized more sharply, becomes the only acceptable offering we can make to God.*  A complete offering of our poverty must now sustain us in prayer.  The nothingness we have come to know within ourselves must be offered back completely to God.  This offering is the one yearning that can drive and impel all our desires—to make a complete gift to God of our own poverty and nothingness.”

-- From: The Contemplative Hunger, by Father Donald Haggerty,  Ignatius Press, p. 130-1.


*Facilitator’s Note:

The immediate, startling realization of my sins, my sinfulness, of our soul’s lacking the glory of God (cf, Romans 3:21ff) is the immediate, evident poverty I can offer to God and have only the righteousness that comes from the grace freely given, of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross.

Previous Post:

How is it possible, asks the young disciple, to be fully attentive to loving God in each atom of time…?  The author's answer is significant for the Christological nature of his teaching.  Picking up on the importance of ejaculative prayer [short prayers in one moment of time, e.g. Lord Jesus have mercy on me] later stressed in the book, he says that it is only the love of Jesus that allows us to intend God in each atom of time.  The intersection of time and eternity found in every atom-moment is necessarily Christological, because Jesus alone brings together time and eternity: “so, love Jesus and everything that he has is yours.  By his Godhead he is the maker and giver of time; by his manhood he is truly the keeper of time, and by his Godhead and manhood together he is the truest judge and accountant of time.  Knit yourself, then, to him by love and by faith.”  The Cloud’s author’s noting of “keeping of time”, therefore, reflects the intersection of the timeless and time often discussed by mystics.

--Bernard McGinn, The Prsence of God, Vol. 5, p. 406,



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