I have read many descriptions and definitions of mysticism and contemplation. Some are very good and truly speak to my own conceptions of the mystic/contemplative. A few are so good and so rich in meaning that I keep going back to them and even memorizing bits and pieces of them – not to reiterate them to others but to lock in my heart as in a safe. It is always the simplest ones that strike the most memorable chord. And yet, I continually wonder how these awesome gifts arrive at a particular individual.
The person we might term a “mystic” or a “contemplative” is what he/she is because he/she is AWARE that God initiates and sustains His love in him/her and he/she agrees to WELCOME that love in an ongoing manner. The awareness is itself Your gift to be accepted or ignored. Its acceptance is not an abrupt yes or no but rather a gradual dawning over time. Some, it seems, put so many things in the way of that gradual dawning that they never fully arrive at an awareness of You.
I think that God initiates signs of His love in every individual but not every individual arrives at a disposition to make himself/herself aware of it. I am wondering how that happens. Is it completely the fault of the individual that they never reach such a disposition and, hence, awareness? Or is it a bending to the natural inclination of just being human that blankets spiritual inclinations and, hence, dispositions toward an awareness of God’s love?
If we never stop to smell a rose, we never know its scent. So, I guess in answer to my own questions it seems fairly apparent how God initiates and sustains His love in every single individual by gifting each of us with it; but we may choose to not become aware of it or welcome it by not disposing ourselves to it – which isquite the opposite of what the mystic/contemplative continually seeks to do.