In Unison

[Excerpt from: Light and Images. Elements of Contemplation, pgs. 75-76. Adrienne von Speyr]

“This is the law of contemplation, not merely the contemplation of the Cross, but of all contemplation of the Lord:  that the one who prays become empty of himself in order to adapt himself to what the Lord is.  In order with him and in him to say what he says, to attune his voice so closely to the Lord’s that the Father can hear them as one voice…

To desire to exist, not in the I, but in the Thou; without restriction, without a measuring of distance, without a feeling of one’s own unworthiness, and thus in the faith of a child who has been called and, through the call, has been drawn forward.

It is no game; it is no make-believe; rather, it is an integration that God himself has demanded:  we have to contemplate the Lord with the Lord’s own eyes.  With the fullness of him who is the embodiment of the Gospel, we must contemplate every mystery of salvation history, surrender ourselves to it, recognize it as the highest reality, a reality that is so strong that this history has the power to bring all things under the influence of this newly dawning reality.  Whoever looks upon the world’s misery through the Cross, whoever draws closer to the suffering of the children of men through the Lord’s suffering, is ready to arrange his contemplation in the proper way to experience the power of prayer, to receive the mysteries of the Lord’s Incarnation and crucifixion; he is ready, moreover, to receive even the mysteries of the triune God as they have been revealed, and to be changed by them.”

5 thoughts on “In Unison

  1. Well, at the risk of raising eyebrows, I had an experience of a sense, once – oh, it was so uniquely rewarding, I am glad I need not part with it – of being within a thou. I was there in a soft holy dark, in perfect warmth, perfect comfort, perfectly happy, perfectly unsinful (well, it only lasted for a split second or so!), in perfect unity. It was our mutually joyful little secret –some mutual love so close that there was no more two; I lived in this thou’s very heart, yet it didn’t seem a new event at all. There wasn’t a going into, I was just simply there by his wish and my own. I loved particularly the looking out through his eyes at those looking at him with such pleasure. I looked through his squinting-with-kindness eyes. At first I thought maybe this was how Eve felt, how she was fashioned from Adam’s rib– that she’d always been there.. but maybe this is how He Himself carries us.

    Okay, eyebrows down.. but know that I wish it upon each of you without reserve–it was that sweet.

  2. ‘that the one who prays become empty of himself in order to adapt himself to what the Lord is. ‘
    What is there in us that could be more worthy of space than God himself?
    What conceited notions do we hold regarding our intelect, our thinking, our reasoning?
    What pride is there within us, foolishly holding on with an iron fist to what we perceive as cherishable?
    And yet the whole time, our meek and humble Lord stands and waits, seeking a space in which He can enthrone himself.
    Thanks for this excerpt, Gabrielle, from Light and Images.
    The last long sentence is full of so much promise, how can we not respond?

  3. “without restriction, without a measuring of distance, without a feeling of one’s own unworthiness”; we know we’re unworthy and He knows we’re unworthy, but He wants us precisely because we are wretched. I can’t help but think that the indifference that was being discussed on the Merton post recently relates to a false humility – which amounts to a refusal to put aside one’s unworthiness and just love the Lord; a refusal to empty oneself, a clinging to “unworthiness” as a means of distancing oneself from union.

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