Simple Prayer

faith / Friday, January 15th, 2010

I love the “simple ways” of St. Therese the little flower!

“What an extraordinary thing it is, the efficiency of prayer! Like a queen, it has access at all times to the Royal presence, and can get whatever it asks for. And it’s a mistake to imagine that your prayer won’t be answered unless you’ve something out of a book, some splendid formula of words specially devised to meet this emergency. If that were true, I’m afraid I should be in a terribly bad position. You see, I recite the Divine Office with a great sense of unworthiness, but apart from that I can’t face the strain of hunting about in books for these splendid prayers-it makes my head spin. There are such a lot of them, each more splendid than the last; how am I to recite them all, or to choose between them? I just do what children have to do before they’ve learnt to read; I tell God what I want quite simply, without any splendid turns of phrase, and somehow he always manages to understand me. For me, prayer means launching out of the heart towards God; it means lifting up ones’ eyes, quite simply, to heaven, a cry of grateful love, from the crest of joy or the trough of despair; it’s a vast, supernatural force which opens out my heart, and binds me close to Jesus.” In her final weeks of life, as she lay in agony, she spoke, “…I can no longer pray. I can only look at the Blessed Virgin and say, ‘Jesus!’…I can’t sleep, I’m suffering too much, so I am praying…I say nothing to Him, I love him” (Knox, Autobiography, p. 289 and Clark, Her Last Conversations, pp. 224, 228)

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