Resting in God
by Thomas Merton
MONASTIC PRAYER, especially meditation and contemplative prayer, is not so much a way to find God as a way of resting in him whom we have found, who loves us, who is near to us, who comes to us to draw us to himself.
Whatever one may think of the value of communal celebration with all kinds of songs and self-expression, the kind of prayer we here speak of as properly "monastic" (though if may fit into the life of any lay person who is attracted to it) is a prayer of silence, simplicity, contemplative and meditative unity, a deep personal integration in an attentive, watchful listening of "the heart."
The response such prayer calls forth is not usually one of jubilation or audible witness: it is a wordless and total surrender of the heart in silence.
Taken from Thomas Merton's Contemplative Prayer (New York: Bantam Doubleday, Dell, 1969).