Contemplative, communal intercession is our
primary ministry. In this call contemplation comes before intercession
because this is a call to "informed" intercession: Listening
contemplatively to the voice of God and letting him show us what he wants to do
in a situation, and how we should pray. As Mary says in John 2:5, "Do whatever
he tells you." So, in order to be effective intercessors we must be
contemplatives first. Our ministry of informed intercession flows out of the
gift of contemplative relationship with God. The real core of our call is to
form contemplatives; for, only when one is a contemplative can one be an
In this call, it is the life that
prays. In other words our own personal relationship with the Lamb is both
the root and power of all effective intercessory prayer. Hence, our
ministry requires a committed life of prayer. We devote ourselves to prayer and
to the ministry of the word (see Acts 2:42)--the Word being Jesus, the Lamb ,
who now sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven in "so much more
excellent a ministry" (Heb. 8:6) of intercession.This ministry of contemplative intercession
requires a committed life of prayer so that Jesus can live within us and
minister through us to others. Through a deep interior life--a deep experience
of the Lord--we have perpetual access to the Father because of Jesus who lives
within us: "No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6)
A lifestyle of authentic contemplative
intercession necessitates the integration of what are known as the four
pillars of contemplative spirituality (also known as "desert" spirituality)
into one's life: Prayer, penance, silence and solitude. These are
disciplines that are indispensable to a lifestyle of effective intercessory
prayer. Ours is a life-giving mission for the salvation of souls. Therefore, we
have to receive life in contemplative prayer in order to intercede.
Intercessors are a people who, because we love the Lord so deeply, in turn love
to pray. This love requires of us a constant renunciation of self if it is
to grow. A lifestyle of disciplined penance helps us to live the prayer
of Jesus: "Not what I will but what you will" (Mark 14:36). This frees us from
ourselves so that we can share in the Lamb's desire for the salvation of souls.
Silence is a discipline that
acts a a safeguard of love. This silence is to be found not only in disciplined
times spent in quiet contemplative prayer, but also in a constant silent
interior disposition of heart: "A silent heart is a loving heart, and a
loving heart is a hospice to the world" (Poustinia. Catherine
Doherty, p.5). Solitude is also an interior discipline by which we
choose to be alone with God in an in-depth intimacy, and allow the Holy Spirit
to transform us through a process of conversion to be more like the Lamb. For,
it is his ministry, his mission and his spirituality that we are given a share
I living a truly committed life of prayer?
am I integrating the 'four pillars' of contemplative spirituality into my life?
Any scripture from the text; 1 Sam. 3:10; Is. 55:3; Mark 9:7
TIME TO EXPIATE"
PLEASE VISIT "THIS WEEK'S BURNING ISSUES" ON THE "EVENTS" PAGE
Remember that we must be a praying Church: Am I praying for our Church
and our world?