Q: Is it possible to experience contemplative prayer and vocal prayer simultaneously?
A: All prayer is a gift from the Holy Spirit. As a faith-filled person responds to the deepening of their relationship with Christ, prayer begins to move beyond words, thoughts, feelings and acts to simply waiting upon God, which is known as contemplative prayer. Vocal prayer focuses on the words and thoughts.
It is possible to have the words gently drift from one’s attention to simply being in a wordless prayer as the words are echoing in one’s mind. As I pray the rosary I find that I move to a deeper level of love which is wordless, while still fingering the beads and saying the words on another level. In a sense the prayer is praying me. I invite the readers to reflect on their own experience in this regard. So, yes, it is possible to experience both levels of prayer simultaneously. And, there are deeper levels beyond this. Enjoy – Fr. Carl.