Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

12/10/2012 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (

The first thing that you will notice is a desire for more silence

What are the signs that the gift of contemplative prayer is actually taking place in your life?  There are concrete things that will begin to take place.


By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (

12/10/2012 (4 years ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: contemplative prayer, centering prayer, lectio divina, year of faith, father james farfaglia

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - We are all human and we usually like to know how we are doing when it comes to any endeavor that we take great interest in.  What are the signs that the gift of contemplative prayer is actually taking place in your life?  In other words, what are the results that you should expect when this beautiful gift of the Holy Spirit begins? 

The first thing that you will notice is a desire for more silence.  While driving your car, you may notice a yearning for solitude and so you will turn off the radio.  At home, you more than likely will prefer a climate of silence, preferring not to turn on your stereo.  You will also a notice that you are watching less television and spending more time in prayer. 

The second thing that will become obvious is that time passes by quickly.  A week seems to go by like a day, and a month seems to go by like a week. 
With the gift of contemplative prayer, the seemingly rapid flow of time may even cause you to be a bit confused. 

Eternity is a mystery.  As mortals living in time and space, in the here and now, we cannot even begin to grasp the notion of eternity.  However, contemplative prayer provides us with a glimpse into this mystery and it allows us to participate in the eternal now, within time and space. 

Thirdly, you will notice a greater capacity to love.  We will examine contemplative prayer and love with greater detail as this series continues.  But, as we consider the signs of contemplative prayer, love is an essential dimension to this form of prayer. 

"Contemplation is agape in its simplest and purest form.   Contemplation is none other than remaining loving one's Beloved according to the request of Jesus himself: 'Remain in me, as I remain in you'" (Contemplation, Frances Kelly Nemeck, O.M.I. and Marie Therese Coombs, Hermit).

Within this deeper experience of love, you will feel yourself unconditionally loved by God which will then give you a greater capacity to forgive everyone of everything and to serve others with tremendous joy and enthusiasm without seeking anything in return. 

"We are to love, then, because he loved us first" (1 John 4: 19).

Another indication that the gift of contemplative prayer is beginning to take hold of your life is an increasing recognition of your inner poverty as a creature of God.  With humility you begin to embrace your own limitations, weaknesses and sinfulness.  With gratitude you know that God loves you unconditionally and always forgives you.

You begin to move away from making a daily examination of  conscience because you are so aware that God loves you unconditionally, that the slightest hint of failing to love God and everyone around you will compel you to make up for that lack of love by loving more and more within the tiny details and circumstance of each day. 

"Contemplative prayer is the prayer of the child of God, of the forgiven sinner who agrees to welcome the love by which he is loved and who wants to respond to it by loving even more.  But he knows that the love he is returning is poured out by the Spirit in his heart, for everything is grace from God.  Contemplative prayer is the poor and humble surrender to the loving will of the Father in ever deeper union with his beloved Son" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2712).

Finally, another sign the gift of contemplative prayer has arrived is the indescribable peace that you will experience.  "Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you" (John 14: 27).

The peace that the gift of contemplative prayer brings about will not only be present in the moments of tranquility, but most especially in the midst of intense struggle, darkness and persecution.

Seemingly our whole world may be turned upside down, but the gift of peace will endure.  Tears may roll down your cheeks, but you will cry out from your own cross, "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23: 34). 

Father James Farfaglia is a contributing writer for Catholic Online and author of Get Serious! - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics.  You can visit him on the web at


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'

Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.


More Year of Faith

The Happy Priest on the Baptism of the Lord and our own Baptism Watch

Image of

By Fr. James Farfaglia

The consideration of Jesus' baptism, gives us an opportunity to remember our own baptism.  If you do not know the date of your own baptism, it is a good idea to go through your personal files and find out when it occurred.  CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic ... continue reading

Regret of Judas or Repentance of Peter?

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. HYTHE, KENT, UK (Catholic Online) - I didn't steal any cookies mommy! says a little boy whose mother asked him if he was hungry, wiping the ... continue reading

Pentecost: St Cyril of Jerusalem on The Living Water of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online

The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man's self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches ... continue reading

The Wedding Invitation of Jesus: We are Called to Live the Nuptial Mystery Watch

Image of There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is not accidental that the Bible, from beginning to the end, uses marriage as a metaphor and a symbol to reveal the plan of God for the whole human race.  Marriage was God's plan from the beginning as we see in the first book of Genesis. Throughout the Old ... continue reading

The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading

Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading

Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading

The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading

Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading

Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading

All Year of Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 8:6-13
6 As it is, he has been given a ministry as far superior as is the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:8, 10, 11-12, 13-14
8 I am listening. What is God's message? Yahweh's message is peace for ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:13-19
13 He now went up onto the mountain and summoned those he wanted. So they ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 20th, 2017 Image

St. Fabian
January 20: Eusebius, born just a few years after Fabian's ... Read More