meditation

Study plays an essential part in the life of prayer. The spiritual life needs strong intellectual foundations. The study of theology is a necessary accompaniment to a life of meditation. But meditation itself is not “study” and is not a purely intellectual activity. The purpose of meditation is not merely to acquire or to deepen objective and speculative knowledge of God and of the truth revealed by him.

In meditation we do not seek to know about God as though he were an object like other objects which submit to our scrutiny and can be expressed in clear scientific ideas. We seek to know God himself, beyond the level of all the objects which he has made and which confront us as “things” isolated from one another, “defined,” “delimited” with clear boundaries.

– Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer

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