And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord. —Luke 1:45
When it comes to the gift of contemplation, every major religion in the world has come to very similar conclusions. Every religion—Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, the eastern religions—all agree, but each in its own way, that finally we’re called to a transformed consciousness, a new mind or being “born again” a second time in some way. Each religion has different words for it, and probably different experiences, but somehow they all point to union with God. Religion is about union. Somehow to live in conscious union with God is what it means to be “saved.”
The word religio means “to retie”—to rebind reality together, to reconnect things so that we know as Jesus did that “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). To live in that place is to experience and enjoy the Great Connection, to live in a place where all things are one, “with me in them and you in me” (John 17:23). When world religions become that mature, we will have a new history, no longer based on competition, rivalry, cultures or warfare, but on people who are actually transformed (Galatians 6:15–16). These people will change the world, as Mary did, almost precisely because they know it is not they who are doing the changing. They will know they do not need to change other people, just themselves. God takes it from there.
How can you bring the gift of contemplation into your prayer life?