“…do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” – Matthew 18.10
Contemplation and contemplative prayer methods are integral to expanded ways of seeing; not necessarily physical sight, but inward sight. Intuitive sight. Spiritual seeing.
It’s hard to accept, but when were honest, we realize that we tend to see what we be. That is to say, our personality tends to be the filter through which we see and experience others. It’s been my experience that contemplative prayer quietly helps us be less clouded by our self and more full of the Spirit, indeed, of Christ.
One of the biblical foundations for this notion is found in Jesus’ Beatitudes, where we hear this famous heart-stopping line:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew.5.8)
Purity of heart is also something children and angels share in. We’re not angels, but something in us shares the inclination angels have to turn toward the Father. We’re not children either, but something in us retains a childlike innocence and purity of heart – no matter who you are or what you have or haven’t done.
Now as adults, developing toward fullness of life in Christ, we can inwardly turn toward the Father – our source of life, the Center-less-Center of Love. This is not a form of regression. It is an evolution and completion of our human path.
Take your common rhythms of the day, and the worn ruts of your tasks, and the frayed relationships and experiences perhaps clouded over with fears, frustrations and failures, and with all of that, turn toward the Father in the silence. While the Father is beyond the silence of the empty space that is love, it is through that stillness beyond all experience that love will come toward you, and you will experience something of heaven right here, right now.
So, for me, contemplation is the only Angel I’ve ever met face to face, breath to breath, i to I.
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