“In all the historic formulations of the Perennial Philosophy it is axiomatic that the end of human life is contemplation … that a society is good to the extent that it renders contemplation possible for its members; and that the existence of at least a minority of contemplatives is necessary for the well-being of any society.” Aldous Huxley
“I used to think of monasteries as hopeless throwbacks to the past, a case of let the last monk or sister standing turn out the lights. Now I look upon them as windows to the future — a future we desperately need in our society. One that stresses community over competition, consensus over conflict, simplicity over consumption, service over self-aggrandizement and quiet over the constant chatter in our lives.” Judith Valente
“The day consists primarily in prayer. …We are contemplatives who live in the midst of the world. …If we were not in constant union with God, it would be impossible for us to endure the sacrifices that are required to live among the destitute.” Mother Teresa
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Can you see how contemplatives are “necessary for the well-being of any society?” Do you have any in your life to learn from?
- Can you imagine a community that “stresses community over competition, consensus over conflict, simplicity over consumption, service over self-aggrandizement and quiet over the constant chatter in our lives?” Shouldn’t that be the church? Does your church regularly call its members to these “monastic” values? Do you practice some of them yourself?
- Mother Teresa insists that radical service must be undergirded by a contemplative lifestyle. In Isaiah God says strength is found by trusting him in quiet “rest.” Does your trust in God lead you to quiet rest? Are you attempting to live contemplatively?
Abba, may I be a “contemplative in this world”, practicing these ancient values, for my good, and the good of my world.
For More: Atchison Blue by Judith Valente
The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)