Foster a Contemplative Outlook


What we need to foster, in ourselves and in others, is a contemplative outlook. Such an outlook arises from faith in the God of life, who has created every individual as a wonder. It is the outlook of those who see life in its deeper meaning, who grasp its utter gratuitousness, its beauty, and its invitation to freedom and responsibility. It is the outlook of those who do not presume to take possession of reality, but instead accept it as a gift, discovering in all things the reflection of the Creator and seeing in every person their own living image.

Prayer not only opens up to a meeting with the Most High, but also disposes us to a meeting with our neighbors, helping us to establish with everyone—without discrimination—relationships of respect, understanding, esteem, and love. Prayer is the bond that most effectively unites us all. It is through prayer that believers meet one another at a level where inequalities, misunderstandings, bitterness, and hostility are overcome; namely, before God. Prayer is the authentic expression of a right relationship with God and with others.

We need to reaffirm our need for intense, humble, confident, and persevering prayer, if the world is finally to become a dwelling place of peace.

So, to take time to pray and to nourish prayer and activities through biblical, theological, and doctrinal study; and to live by Christ and His grace by receiving assiduously the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist: such are the fundamental requirements of every deeply Christian life. Thus, the Holy Spirit will be the source both of our action and of our contemplation, which will then interpenetrate each other, support each other, and yield abundant fruit.

This deep unity between prayer and action is at the basis of all spiritual renewal. It is at the basis of the great enterprises of evangelization and construction of the world according to God's plan.

This reflection is from Pope John Paul II. These are selections from his book, Go in Peace: A Gift of Enduring Love.