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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Must I be of Special Status to Receive the Gift of Contemplation?

September 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Contemplation, Dan Burke, Prayer

The Gift of Contemplation

Dear St. Gregory, some have indicated that only cloistered religious or other religious can receive the gift of infused contemplation. Is this true? Who can and does receive the gift of contemplation?

Dear Friend, it is not the case that the gift of contemplation is given to the highest and not given to the lowest; but often the highest and often the most lowly, and very often those who have left the world, and sometimes also those who are married, receive it. If therefore there is no state of life among the faithful from which the grace of contemplation can be excluded, anyone who keeps his heart in custody may also be illuminated by the light of contemplation, so that no one can glory in this grace as if it were extraordinary. It is not the high and eminent members of the holy Church only who have the grace of contemplation, but very often those members receive this gift who, although by desire they already mount to the heights, are actually occupying lowly positions.

Adapted from The Seven Steps to Spiritual Perfection According to St. Gregory the Great Ottawa, 1949

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Feature art for this post on whether special status is required to receive the gift of contemplation: The Mass Of St Gregory The Great, Adriaen Ysenbrandt (1510-1550), undated, PD-US author's life plus 100 years or less, published before 1 January 1923, Wikimedia Commons.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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