When I first heard of contemplation, I had in mind some idealization---a picture of a mountain-top mystic enrapt by the Divine Mystery. I wanted something of that experience but the vision was not only unreachable, much of it was undesirable. I was young then, active, goal driven, wanting to squeeze the best out of life, make something of myself. To me, the contemplative life was unrealistic.

Only later, at mid-life, when many of us face a major re-evaluation of the life we're living, did I---forced by great necessity---reawaken to the gifts of contemplation for this active life.