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compassion as essentials but whether it otherwise takes one down the path of lif e via joy or sorrow, light or darkness, deep fervor or desert aridity (usually v arious mixtures thereof) - those are more accidental? This 'knowing in our bones ' then is holistically characterized in terms of ... ? I don't offer this rhetorically or over against as I suggest that such knowing w ill be grounded in that reality we know in our bones as love, which needs no apo logetic, which enjoys a radical just-because-ishness as it claims its victims, w ho emerge always as victors. It would be heretical to deny an erotic dimension i n our relationships vis a vis God, others, self, ego and creation, but the conte mplative life precisely goes beyond it in its realization of agapic dimensions ( cf Bernardian love per Merton). Our pursuits of truth, beauty, goodness and unit y are their own rewards (intrinsically so & quite often with few extrinsic rewar ds, save those gratifications often deferred to the eschaton, otherwise even tem porally very punishing) as we surrender understanding to faith, memory to hope, will to love. It is robustly relational, intensely personal, beyond the evidenti al, empirical, logical, rational, moral, practical and functional, even as not w ithout these horizons of concern. The Carmelite Tradition and Centering Prayer/ Christian Meditation By Ernest Lar kin, O.Carm. Today's Contemplative Prayer Forms: Are They Contemplation? By Ernest E. Larkin O. Carm. THE MEANING OF THE CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE€ ACCORDING TO THOMAS MERTON by Fr. James Conner, OCSO.

Why contemplative living is for everyone