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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

Contemplation and the Final Judgment

Contemplative prayer is born in the silence that reverently adores the holiness of the Living God. No stranger to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, such prayer is marked by familiarity with the deep things of God. In the glory of wisdom's height and under the watch of holy fear, this tear drenched gaze of heart ceaselessly searches for the One who is Righteous and True. In the face of senseless horror and abuse of power, this song in the soul knows that the very mystery of human existence has a meaning that Divine Judgment stands ready to reveal.

With confidence in the goodness of the Father, such a sacrifice of praise mysteriously joins the hidden harmonies of the heavenly multitude. Established in this profound stillness, one's body is no longer limited to earthly purposes or spent on worldly dreams. Renunciation of comfort and convenience clears the ground so that the garden of this prayer can be planted. Discipline and determination tills the soil that this devotion makes fertile. This renewal of the mind surrenders to the yearning of divine love to be enfleshed in one's own existence. This panting for God breathes the air of humbled astonishment before the Almighty. This tender ache knows both jubilation and blessed sorrow as the crucified Lamb of God definitively interprets all of human history and the meaning of each one's life. Contemplation rallies under this banner of love. The spiritual worship it knows advances the cause of heaven. The mystical wisdom it begets makes the world vulnerable to the glory of the Lord. A heart on fire with the Holy Spirit in this way is not terrorized by the thought of what His judgements make known. Instead, as He reveals arrogance and casts it down, this soul crawls like a starving beggar utterly confident in His Mercy. As He sends the self-satisfied and haughty away empty, the emptiness of this ravished soul draws the Bridegroom. As He releases the heart knelt in adoration from all manner of captivity and self-made prisons, such a soul glimpses the Vindicator of the oppressed and wonders over the ways that He lifts up the lowly. This saving mystery, even as it waits to be revealed, already feeds the hunger and thirst of a soul who seeks the face of God.

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