Definitions of Terms II K – Z

Centering and Contemplative Prayer
Definition of Terms

KATAPHATIC – The exercise of the rational faculties enlightened by faith; the affective response to symbols, reflection, and the use of reason, imagination, and memory, in order to assimilate the truths of faith.

LECTIO DIVINA – Reading or more exactly, listening to the book we believe to be divinely inspired; the most ancient method of developing the friendship of Christ, using scripture texts as topics of conversation with Christ.

MEDITATION – In the Christian tradition a general term meaning either (1) continued, intent, focused thought which is from the Latin meditatio or (2) a state of quiet, intentionally unfocused, contentless awareness generally known as contemplation from the Latin contemplatio.

MYSTICISM – Also known as mystical prayer; a synonym for contemplation.

TRANFORMATION – Also known as transforming union; the stable conviction of the abiding presence of God rather than a particular experience or set of experiences; a restructuring of consciousness in which the divine reality is perceived to be present in oneself and in all that is.


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  • Supporting Documents
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  • Contemplative Quotations - 1st Millennium
  • Relevant Bibliography
  • Contemplative Quotations - 2nd Millennium
  • Definitions of Terms I A - J