“Jesus told his disciples this parable:
‘The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.'” – Matthew 24. 1 – 4
Such parabolic teaching as this, invites diverse interpretations. What I am interested in, is what this parable might reveal about the nature of the contemplative spiritual journey.
With that said,let’s focus on one aspect of the parable. Ponder what the lamp oil might represent?
In the extended parable, it’s evident that it’s crucial to possess a lamp – but the lamp is non-functional without oil. So the lamp represents the means. In this case, a method, such as meditative prayer; like the method of Centering Prayer.
The oil that empowers and enlightens the lamp, making the lamp useful as a means of seeing in and through the darkness, perhaps represents the silence and stillness. Both of which are essential resources for partaking in the method of Centering Prayer. A method that may lead to the state and experience of contemplation, i.e. the Wedding feast.
Another perspective could be that the lamp represents the Nous, the mind of Christ, and the oil represents the gift of consciousness. The lamp is the mind-means by which we see and perceive the world. The oil of consciousness is what alights the mind and radiates light, which represents truth and wisdom.
Just a few ideas to stimulate your own creative scripture reading. Have fun playing in the fields of the Lord, where the Word of God conveys endless treasures for the soul and insights for your journey.
© 2016 The Contemplative Companion
A Resource of ContemplativeChristians.com