I was asked what the difference is between meditation and contemplation. I pondered this for some time. I can see how people find it difficult to tell between the two. When the answer came to me, I realised that it is not that difficult at all. It’s really quite simple, as most fundamental truths are. Even Jesus said the gospel message is so simple even a child can understand it.
Meditation is how we let God in, and allow God to speak to our hearts to draw us in closer. Contemplation is to be with God for no other reason, but, to bask in the presence of God. Meditation is how the heart deepens in love for God. Contemplation enjoys that love from God’s perspective, not ours.
It is only by practising contemplation and meditation that we build on our relationship with God. Time spent doing either activity is going to produce fruit. You spend time easily with friends and family, yet some of you struggle to chat with God. A regular time spent talking with God is going to develop your wisdom and discernment. Contemplation or meditation are great tools for doing this.
Use them wisely.
It’s true. You do not have to hermit yourself away in order to experience the mystical. You can have treasured moments with God right now, whilst you are reading this or doing the dishes. Talk to God, build a conversation. Be mindful. If you do not know what that means it is easy to grasp. It means being totally aware of the moment you are in now. Listening with your heart and feeling with your mind. Just close your eyes for a moment. Now see what you can smell. Can you hear your heartbeat? Can you feel your heartbeat? Can you focus on a colour that is near you? What does the colour taste like? In your mind picture the taste. Can you become aware of your body standing or sitting where you are right now?
Focus in on your breathing. Is it a steady rate? Are you pausing with your breath? Do you have an equal exhale and inhale? The mystical, the secrets for you to experience are all around you in the very mundane. You do not need to go to a friary in order to learn how to *see*.
Ask God for wisdom and discernment. Get to know yourself deeply. Do you know of any pain in your body? What is its message?
If you get to see yourself deeply you will surely see others deeply as well. Above all when you are being mindful, remember to have that conversation with God. Where does God want you to focus? What area of your mind, body, soul needs working upon? needs healing?
The mystical is not always hidden in the unknown but is accessible in the ordinary and mundane.