Contemplative in Action

dancer in motion - photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash

Ignatius has us consider how God dwells in everything, how God labors for us in all of creation, and how all good things and gifts come from God. If you come to experience the world in this way, then you are a contemplative in action—that is, one who finds God in all things.

This Ignatian notion can be understood as analogous to the kind of friendship that develops over a long time between two people. They are aware of each other even when they are apart or not engaging directly with each other. Although they may not be talking, at some deep level they are in touch with each other. Ignatius’s contemplative in action has such a relationship with God. Engaging closely with God over time, we allow the Spirit to transform us into people who are more like the images of God we are created to be—that is, more like Jesus, who was clearly a contemplative in action.

—Excerpted from A Friendship Like No Other by William A. Barry, SJ

Photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash.

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  1. After he smashes the stone tablets in a fit of anger, Moses asks God for another set. No doubt smiling like the parent of a self-centered child, God simply says “I’ll go with you and give you rest.” Rest is what we need, to remember and re-orient to God. What a blessing when we can rest as we move through our lives: contemplation in action.

  2. God laboring for his creation. We laboring in our small way to keep the world ready to welcome future generations. Makes sense.


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