An invitation to contemplate

The past few days, our Gospel readings at Mass have been full of warnings from Jesus. In these days, I’ve thought that that Jesus is warning me about not being caught up in things unimportant, but to be aware, to be awake, to have a contemplative gaze.

Could Jesus be warning the Pharisees (which today can apply to “religious people” like myself) about their way of seeing the world–with judgment and analysis, rather than openness and wonder? Once again, I see a parallel between the spiritual life and a creative life. A spirit of creativity can help us to respond to Jesus’ advice to awaken to life. Writers and artists often strive to live in a spirit of contemplation or wonder. Our eyes are always looking for the new and unusual, beneath the surface of things, looking for patterns–not to judge or analyze–but to see an aspect of the essence of things.

A contemplative way of viewing the world is essential for growth in both the spiritual life and for the creative life. I feel inspired today to “wake up” to the beauty and mystery around me, so that I can capture a tiny bit of it in my writing today.

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