One thought on “Why Contemplative Prayer Is Work and Toil

  • December 23, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    I have had held some physical positions in the past; the military, UPS, landscaping, and paper delivery when I was young. I have held positions primarily in areas dependent on thought; auditing, commercial property claims, selling insurance, med Lab, and a couple hospitals. The spiritual side is where I consider myself to be the most adept.

    Over life I have seen people compare themselves to other line of employment. If they are involved in primarily physical work, then work on the thought or spiritual side. If involved in spiritual work then that of thought and body. Those in work related to thought can compare themselves to both but often it is the physical branch to which it compares itself.

    Whether something is considered to be easy or hard is usually dependant on aptitude and motivation/engagement/interest. How we compare the toil of our employment with the toils of other people’s employment is really determined by how we imagine we could do the other person’s jobs, and how much focus we would have to spend to do them. Physics might be hard for a monk or other religious position. A ministry position could seem foreign and intimidating to one proficient in physical employment. Many professors may not know how to even begin hard physical labor.

    There is difficulty within each type as well. It is mentally easier, in general, to file a paper than it takes to work out a metabolic pathway. It is easier to bus a table than to dig coal or minerals minerals from the earth. It is harder to sit and consider God than to simply read a verse in the Bible. It is harder to participate in intercessory pray than to say a brief prayer of blessing over food. In my opinion, and I find my strongest aptitude in the spiritual areas, still focusing on God alone, as well as refocusing every time the mind drifts, takes as much energy as anything else. We associate toil with pain, discomfort, and to some degree, suffering.

    Count the cost

    PS – when we move toward contemplation, it is the power and strength of God which enables us.

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