Pope Francis expressed the value of contemplative prayer in the Christian life during his weekly general audience. He notes that contemplative prayer is “an act of the heart” that allows Christians to “fix our gaze in faith upon Jesus.”
Recalling Jesus as the model for all contemplative prayer, the Pope says that through prayer Christians may lovingly persevere towards Christ, “where contemplation and charity become one.”
SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our continuing catechesis on Christian prayer, we now consider contemplative prayer. For Christians, contemplative prayer is an act of the heart by which we fix our gaze in faith upon Jesus, quietly pondering his word and his saving mysteries.
As the simple farmer of Ars told Saint John Vianney: in praying before the Tabernacle, “I look at him and he looks at me”. By gazing on our Lord in this way, we come to feel his loving gaze upon us and our hearts are purified.
This in turn enables us to see others in the light of that truth and compassion which Jesus brings to all. Christ himself is the model for all contemplative prayer: amid the activity of his public ministry he always found time for a prayer that expressed his loving communion with the Father.
At the Transfiguration, Jesus prepared the disciples for his coming passion and death by enabling them to contemplate his divine glory. Through our prayer, may we persevere in union with him on the path of love where contemplation and charity become one.
For, as Saint John of the Cross, the Church’s great master of contemplative prayer teaches us: one act of pure love is more useful to the Church
than all the other works put together.