The sharpest of natural experiences is like sleep, compared with the awakening which is contemplation. The keenest and surest natural certitude is a dream compared to this serene comprehension.
Our souls rise up from our earth like Jacob waking from his dream and exclaiming: “Truly God is in this place and I knew it not”! God Himself becomes the only reality, in Whom all other reality takes its proper place —and falls into insignificance.
From Thomas Merton, “New Seeds of Contemplation”
For those unfamiliar, ‘contemplation’ is the centuries old term used by the church for the experience of God’s presence, particularly as it arises from silent ‘waiting on God’ and meditation. The Latin, ‘contemplatio’ derives from con = with, to = abiding state and templar = the heavens or the spiritual world.