The contemplative journey can be appreciated through many different images and ways of understanding. Here we present it as a process of growth through five phases as one journeys in the land of unfamiliarity. The descriptions of the five phases were adapted from one of the many articles by Marie Beha OSC from the Review For Religious.  Most of this content was assembled by Sr. Helen Banyai SJC on my suggestion. The last third of this content ( most of phase 5) was assembled by Vicky Chen, M.D.**.  Several people including Ruth McLean **  helped me bring this to you. 

           Since all calls to deeper relationship with God embrace a common core of values and attitudes, we offer this meditative material as a possible support. Individuals can use this meditation resource to understand, accept and respond to the struggles going on in their own prayer experience.

-- John Veltri 

Lord, Jesus,
Be with me as I  journey 
into a land that is unknown to me.
I know not where I am going,
where I may wander,
or what I may experience.

I am afraid, Lord,
but I will trust in you
to stay close to my heart.
I feel the stirrings of your call within me,
and I know I am asked to go forward
in faith.

Love me, Lord.
I will try to love you
and follow you 
in my weakness ...

The Five Phases

Phase One
The  Light That One Had Before 
Appears As Darkness

Phase Two
The Call To Leave Behind The Past
And Experience God In A New Way

Phase Three

  Response To The Call
  • Fear and resistance
  • Surrender

                 Phase Four
   Life Review

  • Re-experience of one's sinfulness
  • A sense of quiet and peace in between
  • A fresh insight into God's mercy and goodness
  • A new awareness of one's giftedness
  • Acceptance of oneself as a sinner and as one being forgiven
  • Being drawn into a union of love
  • Solitude, silence: inner necessities

                 Phase Five
  Deepening Of Intimacy

  • Awareness of one's ignorance of God
  • True knowledge of God is complete trust
  • One's concern: let Jesus live his lfe in oneself; oneness and intimacy with God
  • Experiencing divine adoption as being realized in oneself 
  • Call to the prayer of faith 
  • An increase in hope: God's promise transforms everything
  • Love is perceived as a unitive gift: communion with God and with all creation 

For the complete article in one slower download click here.

For the article in three shorter downloads click here

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