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This is the simplest way to describe contemplative prayer

Eucharistic Adoration

Amor Santo | Cathopic

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/25/24

A peasant at Ars remains one of the primary experts at contemplative prayer, telling St. John Vianney the simplest way to describe contemplation with God.

At times prayer can seem overly complicated, with thousands of books devoted to the subject, each describing different ways to pray.

However, sometimes it is the simplest people who are best at describing it.

Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church admits this when commenting on contemplative prayer:

Contemplation is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus. “I look at him and he looks at me“: this is what a certain peasant of Ars in the time of his holy curé [St. John Vianney] used to say while praying before the tabernacle. 

CCC, 2715

Sometimes contemplative prayer is simply this, looking at Jesus and letting Jesus look at us:

This focus on Jesus is a renunciation of self. His gaze purifies our heart; the light of the countenance of Jesus illumines the eyes of our heart and teaches us to see everything in the light of his truth and his compassion for all men. Contemplation also turns its gaze on the mysteries of the life of Christ. Thus it learns the “interior knowledge of our Lord,” the more to love him and follow him.

CCC, 2715

If you have never tried contemplative prayer, simply gazing at God in the Blessed Sacrament may be a good entry point.

Try sitting inside a church and looking at God, letting him look at you in return.

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