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Thursday, August 27, 2020

The essence of the contemplative experience

 In an earlier blog, I copied the first nine verses of Psalm 63 using the translation found in Life in the Psalms: Contemporary Meaning in Ancient Texts by Patrick Woodhouse. He takes his texts from the "Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England" but you can use the text in whatever Bible you are using. I just want to quote what Woodhouse says about the first nine verses of Psalm 63:

These verses "capture the essence of the contemplative experience....The Psalm begins with the cry, 'O God'. Two syllables which encapsulate humanity's longing, 'O God'-- the deepest cry of the human heart bursting out at any moment of crisis. 'O God'-- the cry that captures our hope that there is meaning, that human life is not just random, and meaningless. 'O God'-- a cry that is a search, but also an affirmation that the transcendent Holy One is."

And then the psalmist says, "you are my God" - stop and think what that means. God is the ground of my being! He is near and the psalmist continues telling us to eagerly seek this God that our soul thirsts for - does this not lead us into prayer?

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