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Contemplative Tradition

Christian contemplation has traditionally immersed individuals in silence and solitude, to be nourished by God's Word and Spirit and to cultivate a life of prayer. Transformed by an intense and intimate experience, they are led by God back into the world of ordinary life and relationship to share their encounter with love and truth.

Contemplation as a central element of Dominican spirituality has never intended to separate one or to create a distance from life; rather, its goal has always been to draw one more deeply into the mystery of life and there to find God. The 14th Centruy German mystic, Meister Eckhart, is an exemplar of this Domincan contemplative tradition.

His was an active life of teaching, preaching, prayer and study, which also included periods of service in leadehship. He said:"All that God seeks is that you go out of yourself and let God be God in you."

The Contemplative Ttadition is ancient and rich. it is also fresh and innovative. Some elements are universal and continuous over time; others are adapted and re-imagined in original and creative ways, as they are invluenced by diverse cultures and in different ages.

For a more extensive discussion of Contemplative Tradition read Richard Woods, OP: Recovering Our Dominican Contemplative Tradition.

LEARN MORE about Dominican Spirituality and Tradition in an excellent series: Dominican Foundations.

The traces of God's holiness lie in everyday life; true spirituality consists in openness, attentiveness and the capacity to be touched.

Erick Borgman, OPL

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