The greatest obstacles to contemplation is not disposing yourself for it. When we remain dissipated and attached we block the reception of this most sublime gift.
St. John of the Cross in his work The Dark Night speaks of this desire for contemplation when he writes, “For God does not bring to contemplation all those who purposely exercise themselves in the way of the spirit, nor even half. Why? He best knows.” (Book I, Chap 9) However, in his commentary on The Rule of Carmel, Jerome of the Mother of God, OCD, says that the saying “He best knows” is a Spanish saying which means: the whole world knows it. Because precisely when one does not do what one ought- then it is clear as day!
How can we excite in ourselves the desire to attain the gift of contemplation?
We often fail to dispose ourselves for contemplation either because we give in to too much activity or because we do not produce enough acts of love. By offering to God a holy heart, one free from all actual stain of sin, we can at least do our part and strive for perfection.
St. Teresa in The Way of Perfection chapter 17 says, “I don’t say that we shouldn’t try; on the contrary, we should try everything. What I am saying is that this is not a matter of your choosing but of the Lord’s….Be sure that if you do what lies in your power, preparing yourselves for contemplation with the perfection mentioned, and that if He doesn’t give it to you (and I believe He will give if detachment and humility are truly present), He will save this gift for you so as to grant it to you all at once in heaven.”
May all our efforts cooperate with the grace God gives in each moment to prepare a heart, pure and receptive, to receive so great a gift.