Twentieth-century Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, wrote a small book entitled Contemplative Prayer for his fellow monks at the Gethsemane Abbey in Kentucky.
In this volume Merton writes the following warning against trying to find some “magical method” or formula that alone will make contemplative prayer and meditation effective. Faith, according to Merton, and not our physical senses or effort must be allowed to join our own spirit with His Spirit.
In meditation we should not look for a ‘method’ or a ‘system’ but cultivate an ‘attitude,’ an ‘outlook’: faith, openness, attention, reverence, expectation, supplication, trust, joy. All these finally permeate our being with love in so far as our living faith tells us we are in the presence of God, that we live in Christ, that in the Spirit of God we ‘see’ God our Father without ‘seeing’. We know him in ‘unknowing.’ Faith is the bond that unites us to him in the Spirit who gives us light and love.