The contemplative life

By Dave Henning / July 19, 2013

In Chapter 4 of The Attentive Life, author Leighton Ford states that 3 words aptly summarize the intent of Prime: contemplation, abiding, and indwelling.  Contemplation will be discusses in today’s blog.

When most of us hear the word contemplative, we think meditative- like a monk sitting for hour with his eyes closed and hands folded, oblivious to the world around him.  Such a passive stance belies the active nature of contemplation.  Mr. Ford describes a contemplative as one who “looks at life in the presence of God, or we might say with the eyes of God. or through the eyes of Christ.”

Pastor and teacher Eugene Peterson offers his understanding of contemplation in Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading:

“It has nothing to do with whether we spend our days as a grease monkey under an automobile or on our knees in a Benedictine choir . . . The contemplative life is not a special kind of life; it is the Christian life, nothing more, but also nothing less.  But lived.”

Today’s question: What do you think of Eugene Peterson’s understanding of contemplation?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog:  “Abiding in Christ’s presence”. Coming Tuesday- a new Short Meditation: “Trust without borders”


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Dave Henning

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