Contemplation is not something Americans excel at; after all, we focus on working hard and playing hard.  Contemplation seems like a waste of time because is nothing accomplished when we are done.  In fact, contemplation is not even relaxing due to the mental strain and effort required.  In Happiness and Contemplation, Josef Pieper challenges his readers to develop a life of contemplation if we wish to fulfill our human nature as rational animals.  While contemplation may seem self-serving, nothing could be further from the truth.  The Sisters of Charity attend mass and Eucharistic adoration before they serve the poorest of the poor.  Without listening to Christ’s Word and experiencing his presence, our own efforts will not bear fruit.  St. Thomas Aquinas summarized the Dominican tradition beautifully with this statement:  "To contemplate and to give to others the fruits of contemplation."  Each week we gather as a faith community and contemplate God’s plan of salvation.  We leave with a treasure to be shared with others.  Pass on the fruits you received at mass by listening to the sorrowing, feeding the hungry, and visiting the sick.  At mass, we receive many gifts and in turn, we become a gift to others.

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