Well, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit responded earlier to one correspondent, and I mentioned that the person is imprisoned, is in prison. It is a reality for various reasons, but the harshness of the term "prison" created a sense of sadness. Or, at least the person reacted by becoming sad and wrote back, detailing how it is in her life, and that it is easier to not ruffle the human jailer's feathers, so to speak.
I also had not answered the question asked me earlier as to how to pray contemplatively. So I responded, also trying to explain more about our own imprisonment and of being jailed and our own jailer, often enough. I am to myself, truly; and I intend to live free in Christ. I must.
Yet, in my response a bit ago, I could not yet bring myself to not respond. But I must begin easing off my own imprisoning my mind, heart, and spirit (and a good bit of temporal time given us by God) in dealing with temporal details of prison life, for we are to think of God and of things above, not below. Increasingly I am becoming sickened and wearied of things below; and this is a good thing!
I simply offer my response, for it maybe explains if any readers are having thoughts or questions about the various unhealthy marriages of which I have mentioned we need to seek and carry out divorces, to free ourselves from temporal prisons of which we've handed over God-given present moments, sometimes for years, to temporal jailers be they persons or thoughts, emotions or spirit.
i suspected I may have been too harsh, too realistic about your marriage and S's daily harassment of you over small details. Like not eating his pasta, your reading, your faith, your breath, your work, your gardening, your everything. It is sad that he picks on you to that extent, but the reality of it has helped me realize today a lot about myself and spiritual progress. Plus I have been helped by watching a documentary on the evolution of Brian Wilson's (Beach Boy musician-genius composer) great songwriting giftedness.
I started to think about marriages in general--not just man and wife marriages, but my marriage with bodily pain, and how I do things in various "marriages" such as even my vocation, that are not freeing as well as aspects in my life I could simply stop doing. Like the negative thoughts in the morning, or my hindering myself by my own imprisonment to various types of my own "marriages" of my thoughts, emotions, and even my spirit or soul to details of daily life that are not freeing and not holy.
Then a young woman wrote an email of her frustrations, and I realize we all are kind of prisoners when we don't need to be at all! Most can't easily get a divorce such as you from S, or R from her anger and frustrations that often are triggered from her past, or me from my body's union with temporal pain. But we can rise above. We can remove--divorce--ourselves from unhealthy "marriages" of thought, emotions, and spirit.
I am writing in my blog of these things. There is no point in going over the various details of our frustrations, such as I have written a lot about my pain or renovation frustrations--all that stuff. I received some ideas from Brian Wilson's integrating his observations of another song producer, and that Wilson then made a progression toward better music, better songs, and became a truly great artist. I have now the insight that this pattern is very much for me or anyone to implement in the spiritual life. This is the necessary God-pivot, once again.
Of course, the answer to your question as to how to pray contemplatively is to ask the Creator of Contemplation to give you the grace of contemplative prayer. A great aspect and condition of contemplative prayer is to not be thinking of or distracted by things below but to allow the thoughts to be lifted to that which is above the daily trials and temptations, the daily frustrations and details. It is to free ourselves from the prisons we are in, and especially if we have just handed over the keys to earthly jailers.
I did that when I gave certain priests or monsignors power over my being welcome at Mass or not, or when I agreed not to go to parishes if the priests did not want me there simply due to a mystical gift. I submitted to what was not a holy request on the part of those who are supposed to be holy--but in those instances they were being unholy.
You have given over power to buy an excellent spiritual book you'd like rather than face your jailer's anger. We do these things to ourselves, and then rationalize that we have other books to read, or whatever. And I'm not saying that is a bad way to look at it; it is just how you've learned to react rather than to endure your jailer penalizing you even more. I do similar in various ways, within myself, and at times become the jailer and the jailed, all in one prison!
I give over power to pain in a negative way, or do not rise beyond the trials of the glitches that occur in construction efforts on this hermitage. Even trying to put a frame around the small cellar opening has required more efforts, purchases of a special bit, and may need a more powerful drill. But to dwell on these aspects of the temporal are bondage, not freedom. When I God-pivot all the temporal details, then the soul is more free to wed Christ and produce beauty, truth, and goodness.
It is even in such thoughts of God-pivoting that we find the seeds of contemplation. When you free yourself from the belittling and control of the jailer to whom you've submitted all these years, and can raise your thoughts beyond him even at home, not even needing to go to adoration to do so, but within yourself where His Real Presence has set up His Abode in you, and then you set it up in Him, then that will be planting the seeds of contemplative prayer.
It becomes the prayer once we divorce ourselves from human bondage by others and by our own thoughts, distractions, and frustrations from temporal details and trials. And the more we are wedded with His Real Presence even if all around us is a prison of sorts, temporally, then we begin contemplation for we are no longer prisoners within as well as without.
I hope this helps!
Love in His Love--and start by freeing yourself from the reality that I mentioned, that your marriage is prison, for it is, but you can free yourself by your thoughts, emotions, and spirit marrying His Real Presence,. S does not need to know a thing about your freedom, for he is a pawn more of the temporal for now, God bless him.
I have to face that I have been in a bad marriage with my physical pain, allowing it to keep me imprisoned with emotions and thoughts that I have also allowed to affect my waking moments onward; or I allow imprisonment to this temporal dwelling instead of viewing it as a place of spiritual, creative growth and enforced manual labor that is positive and births marvelous insights from God.
Our temporal mental, emotional daily, distracting details really don't matter; it is our God-pivoting that matters.