Wednesday, October 25, 2006

God Desires Hearts Not Words

Jesus taught not to multiply words when praying. St. Augustine elaborated on that in a letter to Proba on praying.
Excessive talking should be kept out of prayer but that does not mean that one should not spend much time in prayer so long as a fervent attitude continues to accompany his prayer. To talk at length in prayer is to perform a necessary action with an excess of words. To spend much time in prayer is to knock with a persistent and holy fervour at the door of the one whom we beseech. This task is generally accomplished more through sighs than words, more through weeping than speech. He places our tears in his sight, and our sighs are not hidden from him, for he has established all things through his Word and does not seek human words.
[Scroll and read the longer excerpt.]
Later, St. Ignatius of Loyola emphasised feelings over time. His Examen of Consciousness (see my explanation and adaptation of it for using it daily) only takes 15 minutes which is a very slender sliver of the waking hours of one's day. Hearts, ours and God's, are not bound to measure time in the same way as minds and clocks.

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