The purpose of contemplation is to change who we are by allowing God to shape and influence the way we see reality. This is something that Christians need to embrace and live out every day, not just on this or that occasion or in this or that way. The more we become contemplatives in the Franciscan tradition, the more we we can recognize those special moments of mystical encounter with our Creator. The result of living this way is, to quote a prayer that is so often associated with St. Francis, although he did not write it himself, that we are to become ambassadors of God’s peace. Where there is hatred, we can show love. Where there is injury, pardon; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
—from Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis (2012).