Our God is love! When God extends the love that he is, outside of himself, to us, we receive the greatest gift possible, as we receive God himself.
Each person is unique; each person has a unique relationship with God; therefore, everyone will experience this relationship in a different way.
Getting closer to God and entering into the Mystery of Eternal love is a process. A baby does not become an adult overnight.
Similarly, our relationship with God will grow as our life of prayer matures and reaches its fullness in union with our Creator.
Saint Gregory the Great said that we will "discover the heart of God in the Word of God." But, in order for it to happen, we have to make the decision to engage with the Word.
Therefore, we stand in front of a great mystery each time when we open our Bibles. This mystery, this journey with God's Word, leads us from meditation to contemplation.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that "meditation is above all a quest. The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere
and respond to what the Lord is asking." (CCC #2705). "Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ." (CCC #2708). However, meditation is not only
the work of the mind, it is not only the work of the intellect but through thinking, imagination, and the use of senses it touches our hearts as well.
"To meditate on what we read helps us to make it our own by confronting it with ourselves. Here, another book is opened: the book of life. We pass from thoughts to reality.
To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart, and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully
in order to come into the light: "Lord, what do you want me to do?" (CCC #2706).
The meaning of Contemplation may be better understood when we get to the origins of this word:
con -> “with”
templum ->”temple” also “unidentified heavenly horizon” (whole creation of God). Meaning that when we contemplate, we are "with" the "world of God."
There are two “types” of contemplation:
1. Infused Contemplation, which is a pure gift from God, there is nothing that a person can do to acquire it, other than making himself/herself "available" for this grace.
"… a divinely given, general, nonconceptual, loving awareness of God.
There are no images, no concepts, no ideas, no visions.
Sometimes this awareness of God takes the form of a loving attention, sometimes of a dry desire, sometimes of a strong thirsting for God.
None of these experiences is the result of reading or reasoning - they are given, and received.
The infusion is serene, purifying.
It can be delicate and brief, or in advanced stages burning, powerful, absorbing, prolonged.
Always, it is transformative of the person, usually imperceptible and gradually but on occasion obviously and suddenly."
Thomas Dubay, Fire Within
2. Acquired Contemplation which is also called contemplative prayer
Contemplative prayer is "nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.
Contemplative prayer seeks Him, 'whom my soul loves.' It is Jesus, and in Him, the Father. We seek Him because to desire Him is always the beginning of love, and we seek Him in that pure
faith which causes us to be born of Him and to live in Him" (CCC #2709). Contemplative prayer is a wordless, loving adoration of Christ and his mysteries.
As the Catechism assures us, "one can always enter into inner prayer, independently of the conditions of health, work, or emotional state. The heart is the place of this quest and encounter,
in poverty and in faith" (CCC #2710). We can not predict what will happen here, but we start to see the reality that surrounds us with the eyes of God.
This is where we discover what difference the Word of God is making in our life.
Thus, the purpose of this site is to present retreats (based on the Word of God) which will help the participant to recognize and understand the difference between an
acquired contemplation and an infused contemplation and to thank God for any graces received in the process of spiritual growth.
Past Mini Retreat
Current Mini Retreat