While writing first for those in monastic life, Merton reaches "beyond the refectory lectern to remind us of the importance--nay, relevance--of prayer for all Christians, contemplative or other."--America
Select excerpts from Contemplative Prayer
"Contemplation is essentially a listening in silence, an expectancy."
"Prayer does not blind us to the world, but it transforms our vision of the world, and makes us see it, all men, and all the history of mankind in the light of God."
"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."
"Prayer...means yearning for the simple presence of God, for a personal understanding of his word, for knowledge of his will and for capacity to hear and obey him."
"Only when we are able to 'let go' of everything within us, all desire to see, to know, to taste and to experience the presence of God, do we truly become able to experience that presence with the overwhelming conviction and reality that revolutionize our entire inner life."