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How contemplative prayer is a gift to be received from God

Woman at prayer

Kmpzzz | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/23/24

Contemplative prayer is not simply a method of prayer to be learned, but most of all a gift that can only be received from God.

While some methods or prayer can be learned from books or in the classroom, others are gifts that come from God.

Such is the case with contemplative prayer, a type of prayer that is simple, but requires an intentional openness to God’s grace.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this aspect of contemplative prayer in its section on prayer:

Contemplative prayer is the simplest expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gift, a grace; it can be accepted only in humility and poverty.

CCC, 2713

We cannot “master” contemplative prayer on our own, as if it were simply a skill we could acquire by reading enough books or by taking an academic class about it.

It is a “gift” that needs to be received with a spirit of “humility and poverty.”

The main reason is that “Contemplative prayer is a covenant relationship established by God within our hearts. Contemplative prayer is a communion in which the Holy Trinity conforms man, the image of God, ‘to his likeness'” (CCC, 2713).

If we want to become experts in contemplative prayer, we need to deepen our relationship with God and allow him to pour his love into our hearts.

BibleCCC PrayerPrayer
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