Sunday, July 8, 2012

Contemplative Renewal

I have long believed there is a kind of contemplative renewal occurring in the Church.  From where I sit, I see an ever growing body of evidence that this is indeed the case.  An increase of Eucharistic adoration... a re-focus on the Hearts of Jesus and Mary... an emphasis on Divine Mercy... interests in contemplative prayer and silent retreats.  So many things make me think this all has been growing, hidden, right in the midst of a world that seems increasingly more confused about the Truth of God.

This has not arrived with the fire and exuberance of some other renewal movements.  It grew in a quieter, more hidden way.  Like contemplative prayer itself, this is "infused."

One cannot make this sort of thing happen here or there or anywhere; one can only be a yes to God and make oneself available.  And one "yes" - one unconditional, unqualified yes to the will of God - can reverberate throughout the whole earth.  I believe we are seeing fruits of some of these yeses, this very day.

Tough times produce tough yeses. These yeses may not be spoken in the midst of great emotion.  They may be uttered in the pain of darkness, or with the sting of aridity, or with the apprehension of knowing that those who stand for the Truth of Christ are often scorned and looked down upon.  This in itself makes the yeses unconditional.

I think the blooms of contemplative renewal are being spotted here, and there... across the earth.  They have been growing hidden, their roots spreading under the soil.  The gentle grace of contemplative renewal does not receive notice from many; only from those who have eyes to see and patience to wait upon God.

It is a struggle to get these words down, for I suspect they sound a bit dramatic.  But in 1995 I made an attempt to speak of this to a priest, a man (now deceased) who traveled the world teaching the Truth of Christ.  He responded:  "you write of a 'contemplative renewal.'  Yes.  We are shoots of a larger growth - of the Spirit - coming up everywhere.  There is hope.  It is He."  

Those looking for fanfare and accolades for their opinions don't pay much attention to little clumps of flowers here and there.  But little clumps of pray-ers, rooted securely in the Church, are the ones God has ALWAYS used to hold the fertile soil of His world together.    

There is indeed hope.  It is He.

Text not in quotes

Illustration: Dendrobium anosmum Blanco, in US public domain due to age