Tag Archives: intimate knowledge

Contemplation and Thomas Merton

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, March 2, 2017


Contemplation and Thomas Merton

This book Spiritual Classics has a sampling of many different types of Christians, and is all about a number of spiritual disciplines. Already, in the first section about meditation, I see how fascinating it is to look at each of these persons, so passionate about prayer.

As Thomas Merton talks of contemplation, I pondered what he said about God’s gifts. He did not think that people who were not particularly willing to immerse themselves in God’s grace and sanctity would receive a large amount of God’s gifts. Interesting concept. Merton posited that “a deep and intimate knowledge of God by a union of love [is] a union in which we learn things about Him that those who have not received such a gift will never discover until they enter heaven.” [1]

I suspect Merton has something there. I do not believe that all people in church on a Sunday morning will be able to become involved in contemplation. Sadly, some “willfully remain at a distance from God, who confine their interior life to a few routine exercises of piety and a few external acts of worship and service performed as a matter of duty.” [2]

Wow. Double wow. Merton has hit the nail on the head, as far as certain pew dwellers are concerned.

Dear Lord, I hope that he was not describing me. Sure, I pray, and meditate, and contemplate—on occasion. I fall short. God, forgive me, I do fall short. I don’t regularly pray with the fervor and earnestness of some. Lord, I am sorry.

But, at least I try. Lord knows, I try. Contemplation is truly a gift from God. According to Merton, those with a similar gift (prayer, meditation, and contemplation) find communication with their heavenly Parent easier than others.

Dear Lord, thank You for listening to Fr. Merton. Gracious God, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.



Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er.

[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 18.

[2] Ibid, 19.