Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Contemplation cannot be taught

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merton_webThe only way to get rid of misconceptions about contemplation is to experience it. One who does not actually know, in his own life, the nature of this breakthrough and this awakening to a new level of reality cannot help being misled by most of the things that are said about it. For contemplation cannot be taught. It cannot even be clearly explained. It can only be hinted at, suggested, pointed to, symbolized. The more objectively and scientifically one tries to analyze it, the more he empties it of its real content, for this  experience is beyond the reach of verbalization and of rationalization.

Thomas Merton
New Seeds of Contemplation

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