GeE 26: Contemplation and Action

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26. It is not healthy to love silence while fleeing interaction with others, to want peace and quiet while avoiding activity, to seek prayer while disdaining service. Everything can be accepted and integrated into our life in this world, and become a part of our path to holiness. We are called to be contemplatives even in the midst of action, and to grow in holiness by responsibly and generously carrying out our proper mission.

Pope Francis counsels a careful integration. Yes, introverts often desire that time away from people. But introversion/extroversion is less a natural state and more a reference of where one gains energy for life. By our calling, Christians are out and among others. Some of us are energized by interpersonal interaction, and others by a less busy social life. So be it. But every person needs a balance between contemplation and action.

You can check the full document Gaudete et Exsultate on the Vatican website.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to GeE 26: Contemplation and Action

  1. Devin Rice says:

    I wonder what the Pope would think of an inversion of this paragraph. In other words, “it is not healthy to love interaction with others while fleeing silence, to want activity while avoiding peace and quiet, to seek service while disdaining prayer.” He does write in a style that can easily be taken to imply that extroversion is a normative.

    • Todd says:

      Good comment.

      I suspect he would agree with the inversion. Remember the Ignatian Principle and Foundation, and an interpretation of it: between introversion and extroversion, not loving one more than the other. Given the nature of the Great Commission, it would seem that the Lord himself had a preference for a faith that reaches out to others.

      All that said, it is useful to keep in mind that extroversion/introversion are not always a home base from which a person prefers to operate, but a signal of how an individual draws energy in one’s life.

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