Infused prayer is by its essence lasting: it alone by nature has that unity in duration that is lacking to all human meditation, even the most metaphysical. Until God gives us the experience of this living immobility, either directly or through others, we cannot even form an idea of it. This touches what is most characteristic of mystical prayer. Not only does the soul attain eternal objects; there is something of the divine even in the mode or manner or rhythm of its activity. We can say that this activity bears a mark or eternity, for it has in itself no principle of cessation or even of diminution. Quite the contrary, it is called by its inner dynamism to progress continually until the eternal vision, since it is totally enveloped by eternal love. By this infused prayer, then, we truly enter upon the life of the blessed.
…..we must not forget the condition of the recipient of this divine gift. He is a viator, a wayfarer. Throughout his life on earth the contemplative is on the way to eternity….The contemplative remains a wayfarer, and we must underscore this carefully. This accounts for his suffering, his being torn apart; also, for the discontinuity of his life. One the plane of knowledge and of intellectual consciousness, no equilibrium is possible for him. His only recourse is to dwell always in the present moment, in ceaseless conformity to the will of God. –Father Thomas Philippe ‘The Fire of Contemplation’
ORA ET LABORA
Noon of a summer’s day. I see a man in the fields—a wild, solitary figure—the only living thing in sight for miles. He is thinning turnips. Slowly a bell rings out from the chapel on the hill beyond. It is the Angelus. The man stands up, takes off his hat and bows his head in the ancient prayer of his faith. . . . The bell ceases tolling, and he bends to labour again. –Joseph Campbell