The Spirit of Contemplation
by Thomas Merton
WITHOUT THE SPIRIT of contemplation in all our worship -- that is to say, without the adoration and love of God above all, for his own sake, because he is God -- the liturgy will not nourish a really Christian apostolate based on Christ's love and carried out in the power of the pneuma [the Spirit].
The most important need in the Christian world today is this inner truth nourished by the Spirit of contemplation: the praise and love of God, the longing for the coming of Christ, the thirst for the manifestation of God's glory, his truth, his justice, and his Kingdom in the world.
These are all characteristically "contemplative" and eschatological aspirations of the Christian heart, and they are the very essence of monastic prayer.
Taken from Thomas Merton's Contemplative Prayer (New York: Bantam Doubleday, Dell, 1969).