Must I be of Special Status to Receive the Gift of Contemplation?

The Gift of Contemplation

Dear St. Gregory, some have indicated that only cloistered religious or other religious can receive the gift of infused contemplation. Is this true? Who can and does receive the gift of contemplation?

Dear Friend, it is not the case that the gift of contemplation is given to the highest and not given to the lowest; but often the highest and often the most lowly, and very often those who have left the world, and sometimes also those who are married, receive it. If therefore there is no state of life among the faithful from which the grace of contemplation can be excluded, anyone who keeps his heart in custody may also be illuminated by the light of contemplation, so that no one can glory in this grace as if it were extraordinary. It is not the high and eminent members of the holy Church only who have the grace of contemplation, but very often those members receive this gift who, although by desire they already mount to the heights, are actually occupying lowly positions.

Adapted from The Seven Steps to Spiritual Perfection According to St. Gregory the Great Ottawa, 1949


Feature art for this post on whether special status is required to receive the gift of contemplation: The Mass Of St Gregory The Great, Adriaen Ysenbrandt (1510-1550), undated, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, published before 1 January 1923, Wikimedia Commons.

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