Healing truth: resting in God's presence, brings healing
(CHB editor note: enjoy this video-audio song sung by talented Christian vocalist Sandi Patti, that was first released back in 1988. It will brings back memories for some of you older folks, like me)
Though it has acquired other meanings and connotations in recent centuries, the word contemplation had a specific meaning for the first 16 centuries of the Christian era. St. Gregory the Great summed up this meaning at the end of the 6th century as the knowledge of God that is impregnated with love. For Gregory, contemplation was both the fruit of reflecting on the Word of God in scripture and a precious gift of God. He referred to contemplation as "resting in God." In this "resting," the mind and heart are not so much seeking God, as beginning to experience what they have been seeking. This state is not the suspension of all activity, but the reduction of many acts and reflections to a single act or thought in order to sustain one's consent to God's presence and action.
In this traditional understanding, contemplation, or contemplative prayer, is not something that can be achieved through will, but rather is God's gift. It is the opening of mind and heart - one's whole being - to God. Contemplative prayer is a process of interior transformation. It is a relationship initiated by God and leading, if one consents, to divine union.