Meditation leads us into contemplative prayer.
There is much to say about contemplative prayer because it encompasses different levels of intimacy with God. If we are truly and honestly seeking a deep life of prayer and intimacy with God and if we are willing to open ourselves to the movements of the Holy Spirit we shall be comforted by the fact that God will fill our hearts with His presence and we will know deep within that it is God visiting us and communing with us. This level of communion is beyond words and beyond thought. These periods of communion are like touches of divine love and of sweetness. The senses are suspended and the intellect is at rest. God makes His presence known to us and there is no doubt that one knows it is God who is visiting the soul. It is a pure gift from God so there is nothing that we can do to intensify or prolong these visitations. What we can do is prepare our hearts for these visits and wait for their coming.
There is a wonderful parable in the Gospels that speak of ten bridesmaids waiting for the bridegroom to arrive. Some are not ready when the bridegroom appears while others are ready. Those who are ready have enough oil burning brightly, that is to say, they were open and waiting for the gift of God to enter the wedding chamber. Their hearts were prepared for the coming of the Divine. This coming is true contemplation and it is not a psychological trick but a theological grace. It is pure gift and the summit of the Christian life of prayer. Love is the motivating power, because what we are doing is entering into a deeper love relationship with God, with the Divine Bridegroom, the source of all that exists.
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