Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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it is impossible to grow spiritually without prayer

It is now in the ice snow flow 11:50 AM late Sunday morning. I have been seeking to read this morning from a book titled, "Alone With God" by Dom Jean Leclercq. I came across this that I want to quote from this excellent little book-

"Those who come to the hermitage from secular life or from a monastery must be formed in prayer before all else, for if a man who has been sufficiently instructed does not then devote at least half an hour daily to prayer, he cannot persevere in our life. It is impossible to grow spiritually without prayer as it is to grow physically without food. Prayer makes the mind return with renewed vigor to reading and meditation, while the latter in turn foster prayer. These three activities imply one another and are mutually helpful. A man is a hermit in name only if he does not devote himself daily to reading, to meditation, and to prayer. Each of these three acts of prayer must have its own characteristic feature: studiosa lectio, ordinate meditatio, devota oratio-careful reading, well-ordered meditation, devout prayer. Reading must be attentive, not superficial. Meditation is an effort at reflection, requiring that the mind should not wander but should fix its attention on very definite dogmatic and moral considerations. Prayer proceeds from it and takes the form of a direct conversation with God inspired by Him. For here again the only master is the Lord. No book can teach us to speak to Him: only the Holy Spirit can suggest how we should adore God and lament our sins. We must remain supple to His actions. We must choose the time when the spirit is most tranquil and free and let grace act. Then occasionally we will be granted contemplation. The rhythm of this process, however, varies according to the character of each soul and according to God's gifts to it. Happy are those for whom but a brief reading and a short meditation are sufficient to raise them up a prolonged state of prayer! Happy are those who then become rapt in contemplation, that state proper to the angels and the blessed in heaven, but sometimes granted by Almighty God to those who, though in the body, practice a perfection verging on that of the angels! Their nature is then raised beyond its proper powers. Their spirit enjoys the sweetness of God. Blessed are those whose nature often suffers such violence and who experience such raptures for a longer time, if indeed it can last long." pg. 85,86 "Alone with God"

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