Friday, 1 February 2019

On Contemplation

Contemplation sounds like looking intently at one thing, although we know that everything is constantly in motion. It encourages attentiveness, deliberation, reflection. Study surveys its subject with care. Certain ideas recur in cycles, fashionable to be studied again; study means you still have something to learn. People who are seriously into the spiritual life don’t mind drifting. Slow thought.
Dominican spirituality is attractive to those who enjoy the process of trying to figure things out. You bring something to attention, clean up its act, and present it, with hopes for its veracity, to others. Confirm truth; omit prejudice. Contemplare et contemplata aliis tradere. We can also study our fellows: the rude and the resentful, the petty and the pugnacious, the unrelenting and the unremorseful: so human. They may also study us. Each one a book.
The meaning of study? When a beautiful girl, who knew four languages, is randomly murdered by a stranger at a tram stop, where has her learning gone? Languages should be shared. The Latin source of ‘study,’studium, includes a meaning of attachment, devotion, goodwill towards a person or purpose. Devotion has a saving grace. Study to become what you are. Thus your merit will be made.

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