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Archive for the ‘Recollection’ Category

I have recently been reading Time for God by Fr. Jacques Philippe, a book on mental prayer which I’ve found helpful.   In one chapter, he speaks of the importance of recollecting God’s presence in our hearts, and how recollection profoundly transformed the prayer life of St. Teresa of Avila.  He quotes St. Teresa’s Way of Perfection:

It is clear to me that if I had understood, as I do today, that in this tiny palace of my soul, such a great King is living, I would not have left him alone so often, I would have gone to seek him out from time to time, and I would have taken steps to ensure that the palace was less dirty.  How admirable it is, then, to think that he whose greatness would fill a thousand worlds and much more, shuts himself into such a little thing! In truth, since he is the Master, he is free and since he loves us, he reduces himself to the measure of our smallness.

Fr. Phillipe gives this advice:  “When we don’t know how to pray, the simplest thing to do is recollect ourselves, keep silence, and enter into our own heart, go down into ourselves and, by faith, rejoin the presence of Jesus who dwells within us, and stay peacefully with him. Don’t leave him alone, keep him company.  Someone who perseveres in doing this will soon discover the reality of what Easter Christians call the “place of the heart” –the “inner cell,” as St. Catherine of Siena called it.  This is the center of our being, where God has taken up his abode and we can always be with him.  Yet many men and women do not know about this inner space of communion with God because they have never gone there, never visited this garden to gather its fruits.  Happy are they who make the discover of the Kingdom of God within themselves.  It will change their lives.”  (Phillipe, Time for God pp. 63-64)

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