Contemplation: Chartres

Contemplative prayer is a wonderful tool for enjoying God’s presence while you are in Chartres.


ContemplationWords that come to mind when I think of contemplation include
Calmly considering
Reflecting from my heart
Knowing with my spirit-self


Contemplation involves letting distractions pass by. The gifts are contemplation are multitudinous, but they do have a cost. For one thing, we have to give up activity to pursue the  goal of resting with God.



Five ways your body can help you understand how to contemplate [pdf].
(Les Cinq Postures de la Contemplation [pdf])
Practice the five postures of contemplation.
• First, pray for a sense of God’s love and touch. (Hands on head.)
• Second, pray to see all that the Sacred would invite you to see both inwardly and outwardly.
• Third, pray the ability to listen—to the past, the present and the future.
• Fourth, pray for the grace of silence.
• Finally, with gratitude, acknowledge your love for the One Who is Love.

Comtemplative activities that may deepen your prayer while at Chartres (with references to statues or stained glass images that illustrate these activities)
Sewing (Mary, south choir ambulatory, sculpture next to Joseph dreaming)
Washing (Contemplative woman, north porch)
Reading (north porch, south porch Mary in sprocket)
Praying (Small sculpture on the bottom of the south porch trumeau)
Writing (Augustine window in south nave clerstory rose window)
Pondering (Mary in various annunciation images throughout the cathedral including the capital frieze on the north side of the west wall)
Thinking (God, left side of the outer central voussoir on the north porch)
Dreaming (Joseph in the Life of Christ window in the center of the west wall)
Suggestions for Contemplation while at the Chartres Cathedral [pdf]


A dictionary definition: Contemplation
1. long and attentive consideration or observation of something
2. concentration of the mind on spiritual matters such as achieving closer unity with God




Quotes to live by:

“The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and beyond speech, and it is beyond concept.” Thomas Merton

Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19