Contemplation is often something like intensely focusing on listening to the answers to questions we may ask even though, at times, we don’t even fully comprehend the questions themselves. We look to You to help us understand You and our relationship with You – and we listen for Your answers.
I tend to believe that most of these answers come in the moments of quiet interior reflection. In apprehending something that is being taught or something another person simply says to us, its clarity is only sharpened when we pull away from it and ponder it. This may more aptly be described as meditation, but it leads to changes in long-term thought that inspire contemplation – and contemplation is lived!
If I picture myself speaking with another person and asking him/her a serious question the answer to which I think this person can provide, I will listen intently to the answer – but not only this – I will also come away from that person and privately ponder what was said. If I accept it, I make it part of myself.
A similar procedure is followed when reading scripture, or the lives of the saints, or spiritual writers. In these instances the answers all refer back to You, and it is in contemplation that we are engaged. We might say, then, contemplation is an internal process of focus, acceptance, and living in the world so as to keep in touch with the center of our being.
Christians fear radical Islamists have been swelling rebel ranks and mostly comprise Salafi terrorists funded by Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf Arab puppet regimes.They also fear the same fate as a number of Christians during the war in Iraq, where militants targeted them and spurred many to leave the country. Christians make up roughly 10% of the population. Syria is ruled by a government dominated by Alevis, whose faith is Shiism. The regime is opposed by a divided opposition with a large Wahabbi terrorist presence. Aid agencies say Syria's 2 million Christians are often targeted for suspected sympathies to President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Two top bishops have been kidnapped a well-known priest is missing.