the time of his holy curé used to say while praying before the tabernacle. This focus on Jesus is a renunciation of self. His gaze purifies our heart; the light of the countenance ofJesus illumines the eyes of our heart and teaches us to see everything in the light of his truth and his compassion for all men. Contemplation also turns its gaze on the mysteries of the life of Christ. Thus it learns


the ‘interior knowledge of our Lord’, the more to love him and

follow him.” 2716 Contemplative prayer is hearing the Word of God. Far from being passive, such attentiveness is the obedience of faith, the


unconditional acceptance of a servant and the loving commitment

of a child. It participates in the ‘Yes’ of the Son become servant and the Fiat of God’s lowly handmaid.


2717 Contemplative prayer is silence, the ‘symbol of the world to

come”2 or ‘silent love’.’3 Words in this kind of prayer are not speeches; they are like kindling that feeds the fire of love. In this silence, unbearable to the ‘outer’ man, the Father speaks to us his


incarnate Word, who suffered, died and rose; in this silence the

Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus. 2718 Contemplative prayer is a union with the prayer of Christ insofar as it makes us participate in his mystery. The mystery of Christ is celebrated by the Church in the Eucharist, and the Holy Spirit makes it come alive in contemplative prayer so that our charity will manifest it in our acts. 2719 Contemplative prayer is a communion of love bearing Life for the multitude, to the extent that it consents to abide in the


night of faith. The Paschal night of the Resurrection passes

through the night of the agony and the tomb — the three intense moments of the Hour of Jesus which his Spirit (and not ‘the flesh [which] is weak’) brings to life in prayer. We must be willing to


‘keep watch with [him] one hour’.’4


2720 The Church invites the faithful to regular prayer: daily prayers, the Liturgy of the Hours, Sunday Eucharist, the feasts of the liturgical year.