Contemplate the truth of these passages; read them slowly, meditatively, allowing them to arouse the heart to prayer. Let them simply remind you of your heart’s chief desire–to be always close to God.
Prayer in Practice; Simon Tugwell, Templegate Publ., Springfield, Ill. 1974
Far and away the most important thing for us, if we want to pray, is seriously to undertake to become the kind of people who can pray, who have room in their lives for prayer.
If we make room in our lives for a God to whom we can pray, then prayer should, by and large, look after itself.
There is no short cut to true spirituality, there is no substitute for conversion of the heart.
“We do not know what to pray.” (Rom 8:26). This elusiveness of prayer is an integral part of the scriptural view of prayer as something which God retains under his own control, subject to his own administration.
Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we should be able to refer it, in all simplicity, to the Lord.
It is the prayer of the Holy Spirit praying in us in accordance with God that really matters; this is the prayer of the heart that is heard by God.
We should avoid the presumptuous supposition that we shall actually be able to pray just because we have decided to pray. The most we can do is place ourselves ready and alert for prayer.
Prayer is a ‘time off’ from playing God unto ourselves.
One can be too polite with God. If we only say the things that we consider to be expected of us, we shall never get beyond the most superficial encounter with him.
The minimum requirement for prayer is intention.
Thinking about God all too easily leads us to treat him as if he were absent. But he is not absent.
We do not have to conjure his presence up by making acts of thought or imagination. We know he is there; and acting upon that knowledge, we simply talk to him.
It is important to realize that one is not trying to do or achieve anything. One is simply there, in the presence of God.
Thoughts are a bit like spoilt children trying to attract attention to themselves. If you ignore them, refusing to be distracted by them, then sooner or later they will get bored and go away.
What is important is that our prayer should reach down to the core of our being, the point of unity of our identity. This is something deeper than and underlying all our intellectual and emotional activity. It is from here, if anywhere, that our thoughts and feelings can be “taken captive” in Christ (2 Cor. 10:5)
It is when this deep centre is filled with the peace of Christ that our lives are ‘kept’ in and by him.
We discover ourselves in God and him in us. Finding the place of the heart, we shall find it already indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Familiarity with God’s ways will enable us more and more to recognize certain patterns, certain configurations, certain little details, as signs of his artistry.
Prayer is the articulation of desire; and God hears our desires even before we articulate them.
Bringing our desires out into the open in prayer is the acknowledgment that they are already known to God, and the confession that we are glad that it is so.
As we grow in faith, we shall find more and more that our aspirations and desires draw us first to God, and only secondly to undertake measures for their realization.
There is nothing contained in the future which is not already contained within the presentness of Jesus Christ.
Faith punctures the self-sufficiency of our world so that there is room for God to be God. Perfect faith is when we are nothing but space for God to be God. Then God is no longer an object to us, nor we to him.
Whenever we love, we are no longer the center of ourselves.
Pray always empty-handed. Faith brings us before God humble and poor.
It is the perfection of all creatures that God should be all in all.
It is only by the Spirit that we recognize the Spirit.
The Soul of Prayer; P.T. Forsyth, Regent College Publ., Van., B.C. 1997.
Most of the difficulties of prayer are our own making. We get more interested in ourselves than in God. We get absorbed in what is or is not happening in us.
We must train our thinking, our imagination, our understanding to begin with God not ourselves.
Prayer is the most personal thing that any of us do, the most human act in which we can engage. We are more ourselves, our true, image-of-God selves, when we pray than at any other time.
Left to ourselves we soon become selfish, preoccupied with our pious feelings, our religious progress, our spiritual standing. We need guides and masters to refocus our attention on God, to keep us ever mindful of the priority of God.
At all times let us think greatly of God and kindly of men, faithfully of the past, lovingly of the present, and hopefully of the future.
All true prayer promotes its own progress and increases our power to pray.
Not to want to pray is the sin behind any sin. And it ends in not being able to pray.
What we ask for is chiefly the power to ask more and to ask better. We pray for more prayer.
The prayer within all prayer is ‘Thy will be done.’ My prayer is Thy Will. Thou didst create it in me. It is more Thine than mine.
The prayer that reaches heaven began there, when Christ went forth. It began when God turned to beseech us, in Christ. The Spirit went out with the power and function in it to return with our soul.
The whole rhythm of Christ’s soul is of the Godhead going out, and returning on itself.
Our prayer is the answer to God’s.
For it is Christ at prayer who lives in us, and we are conduits of the Eternal Intercession.
The intercession of Christ in heaven is the continuity and consummation of His supreme work on earth. To share it is the meaning of praying in the Spirit.
We cannot move fast to such a fine product as piety. It is a growth in grace.
Prayer makes us realize how far from God we were.
It is true religion in which the soul becomes very sure of God and of itself in prayer. It is the great school of both proficiency and of veracity of the soul.
True prayer does not allow us to deceive ourselves.
Not to pray is not to discern life not to discern the things that really matter, and the powers that really rule.
Prayerlessness is an injustice and a damage to our own soul.
True prayer is the supreme function of the personality of prayer, and it is personality with this function that God seeks above all to rear.
In prayer we become more and more sure that He is sure.
All along, Christ is being formed in us as we pray; and our converse with God goes on to become an element of the discourse between the Father and the Son.
Prayer gives us bearings in a world otherwise without form and void.
Prayer is the atmosphere of revelation.
We touch the last reality directly in prayer.
God’s Spirit returns to Him who gave it; and returns not void, but bearing our souls with Him.
The greatest law of Nature is its bias towards God, to return to His rest. This comes to light especially in man’s gravitation towards Him, when His prodigal comes home to Him.
The soul runs its true course back to God its Creator, who has placed on it the destiny of this return, and who leaves it no peace till it finds its goal in Him.
It is in prayer that our real idea of God appears, and in prayer that our real relation to God truly shows itself.
In Christ’s intercession for us, our prayer, broken, soiled, and feeble as it is, is caught up and made prayer indeed and power with God. His intercession prays for our very prayer, and atones for the sin in it.
Prayer is our chief answer to the gospel. It plants us at the very centre of our own personality, which gives the soul the true perspective of itself; it also sets us at the very centre of the world of God, which gives us the true hierarchy of things as they are.
Nothing does so much for our originality, so much to make us our own true selves, to stir up all that it is in us to be, and to hallow all that we are, as does prayer. It opens a fountain at the centre of our personality, where we are sustained because we are created anew and not simply refreshed. For here the springs of life continually rise. And here the eye gains a second sight from which it discerns a new world. It sees two worlds at once, heaven and earth.
In prayer we are regathered in soul from the fancies that bewilder us and the distractions that dissolve us into the dust of the world.
The note of prayer can become the habit of the heart in such a way that when we are released from our occupations, the soul immediately rebounds to its true bent, its quest for God.
IF you are not praying towards God, you are bent towards something else. If our passion is habitually set upon pleasure, knowledge, wealth, honor, or power we are in a state of prayer to these things or for them. We pray without ceasing. The great difference is the object of it. To whom do we pray.
It is the one who most truly has God who most truly seeks Him.
There is no real intimacy with the gospel which does not mean a new sense of God’s holiness, and it may be long before we realize that the same holiness that condemns is that which save.
The more we grasp the gospel, the more it abases us.
We are not the fire, but we should live where it burns.
The gospel is continually acting on us, continually searching our inner selves, so that no part of us may be unforgiven, unfed, or unsanctified. We cannot hold it and examine it at arm’s length. It enters into us. It evokes a perpetual comment on our souls, and puts us continually on self-judgment.
Everything that rebukes our self-satisfaction does still more to draw out our faith.
It inspires not mindless prayer but that prayer which is the wrestling of the conscience and not merely the cry of the heart, the prayer for reconciliation and redemption and not merely for guidance and comfort.
Private prayer is the greatest forge of personality. It places one in direct and effective contact with God the Creator, the source of originality and of the new creation.
Nothing makes us so original as does prayer. And we cannot be true Christians without being original. To be so we must be one, and closely one, with God.
Prayer is for the religious life what original research is for the scientist.
Prayer is not a frame of mind, but a great energy. The person who prays consistently rises to conceive his work as an active function of the work of Christ. He links his faith therefore with the intercession which covers the whole energy of Christ in his kingdom.
Amid the wreck of my little world He is firm, and I in Him. I justify God even in the ruins; in His good time I shall arrive.
The Dark Night of the Soul; St. John of the Cross, Hodder & Stoughton Publ., London, 1988
Spiritual self-restraint and self-denial leads to a very different kind of character which includes reverence and submission in everything.
God, in helping people make spiritual progress, often does this by bringing them into the dark night and gives them dryness and inner darkness. He takes from them everything that is irrelevant and immature.
In these times of dryness, people undergo great trials. These trials are not due so much to the dryness which they suffer, but because they fear that they will be lost on the road. They believe that spiritual blessings are a thing of the past , and that God has abandoned them.
Delight and pleasure even in spiritual things can cloud and impede the spirit. Times of dryness of the senses shed light and bring true understanding.
Times of trouble give us a correct estimation of how empty and naked the soul is, and how much it needs God’s power.
“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1-2)
It is from the dryness and the emptiness of this night of the desire that the soul becomes spiritually humble, which is the opposite virtue of sin, which is spiritual pride.
Complacency and presumption are things which belong to the so-called prosperous days of the soul. The soul now displays no confidence in the self, which is the essence of godly reverence, which enables the virtues to grow.
The road of contemplation is where God himself feeds and refreshes the soul directly, without the soul’s help or meditation.
Contemplation is nothing less than a secret, peaceful and loving infusion from God.
Reverence is the key to all the other virtues
The pupil of the owl sees less as it becomes more contracted as the light increases. The more brilliant the light is, and the more directly we look into the sun the less we see.
God only touches the soul in his mercy and does not oppress it, since his aim is not to punish the soul, but to bless it.
“He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light.” (Job 12:22)
When sunlight shines through a spotless pane of glass we can hardly see it. But the light appears bright in our sight when it strikes a lot of dust in the air.
The soul wishes to love God with all its strength and power. It cannot do this if it is distracted by other pleasures.
The soul loves in numerous ways, in all its actions and thoughts that it is involved in.
The nature of love is to be united, linked up with and at one with the object of its love.
The soul wants to be made perfect in love. So when it is not perfect in love, it hungers and thirsts after this union which it lacks.
The soul can reach a stage where it belongs more to heaven and to God than to itself.
Many people believe that they have their desires fixed on God and on spiritual things when in reality they are merely following their own human inclinations.
One of the characteristics of God’s way of communicating is that it is very intimate and spiritual in its relationship to the soul. It goes beyond all the senses which immediately stand before it in silence.
All a person can say is that they are satisfied, serene, content, and aware of God’s presence. As far as they are concerned everything is all right
Contemplation absorbs and engulfs the soul in its secret depths so that the soul feels it is distanced from all created things. The soul now feels that it has been transported to a place of unfathomable solitude. It is like a vast and endless desert where no human person can travel. It has many delights but it is also lonely because it is so huge. The soul finds itself hidden in a secret place.
The state of perfection cannot exist unless the soul has both knowledge of God and knowledge of itself.. It finds itself exalted by the knowledge of God and humbled through knowledge of itself.
The soul never remains static as it travels on the road of contemplation as it is always rising or falling.
True love of God naturally expels self-love.
Only love unites and cements the soul with God.
The spiritual blessings of contemplation really belong to the next life rather than to this life, so when one of them is received in this life it is really a preparation for the next life.
The quiet rest of the soul comes from being united to God, hidden from all the attacks of the devil and from the attacks of its own senses and passions.
Beginning to Pray; Anthony Bloom,
Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ, 1970
Prayer is really our humble ascent towards God, a moment when we turn Godwards, shy of coming near, knowing that if we were to meet Him too soon, before His grace has had time to help us to be capable of meeting Him, it would be judgment.
It is not a journey into my own inwardness, it is a journey through my own self, in order to emerge from the deepest level of self into the place where He is, the point at which God and I meet.
Gradually what happens is that the awareness of God grows within you to such an extent that whether you are with people, listening, speaking or whether you are alone working, the awareness is so strong as to draw you to pray continually.
Theophan the Recluse says: “The awareness of God shall be with you as clearly as a toothache.” It is an ache that we be a longing for God, a feeling that ‘I am alone, where is He’ whenever you have lost touch in prayer.
If we use crumbs of wasted time to try to build short moments for recollection and prayer we will discover that there is a lot of time in a day to spend with God.
Thanks be to Him that He does not always present Himself to us when we we wish to meet Him, because we might not be able to endure such a meeting.
Be patient about prayer. Wait until the longing for God is sincere, until you get the desperate feeling and feel your heart saying “I am alone, where is He”.
If we imagine that we can sustain spontaneous prayer thoughout our day, we are in a childish delusion.
It is so easy to get inattentive, to slip from alertness to dreaming in prayer. Let us start to learn to keep prayerful attention.
It is greed, fear and curiosity which make us live outwardly. Like tentacles reaching outward, interested in all that is around us, filling the inside with things from the outside so that precious little is left of you inside, because everything is extroverted.
You cannot go inwards if you are living completely outward.
We hardly ever live from the inside out; instead we live in response to incitement, to excitement; we live always in reaction to what is outside us.
When we are left without anything that stimulates us to think, speak or act, we realize that there is very little in us to give us life.ï¿½ We discover that we do not act from within ourselves but actually live a life in response to the outside; we are used to things happening which compel us to respond with life.
Try to find time to stay alone with yourself, doing nothing. Discover boredom; discover how little we have to offer to ourselves as food for thought, for emotion and for life.
We must stay the course until the anguish so fills all our mind, all our heart, all our will with a sense that unless God comes I am lost, there is no hope; to return to activity without God will be to return to the realm of delusion, of reflected life, but not to real life.
True prayer comes from true need
Very often we do not find sufficient intensity in our prayer, sufficient conviction, sufficient faith, because our despair is not deep enough. Blessed are the poor in spirit.
Each day is God’s own, it is absolutely new, absolutely fresh. It has never existed before. You must face the day with the readiness that anything may happen, whether you enjoy it or not.
If you walk in the name of the Lord through a day which has come fresh and new out of His own Hands, and has been blessed for you to live with it, then you can act and pray in one breath because all situations that follow one another require God’s blessing.
We continually try to live an inch ahead of ourselves.; preventing us from being where we really are, in the present moment.
What can prevent you from praying is that you allow yourself to be in the storm, or you allow the storm to come inside you instead of letting it rage around you.
Finding God in All Things; A Companion to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. William A. Barry, SJ, Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Ind., 1991
At every moment of our existence God is communicating to us who God is, is trying to draw us into an awareness, a consciousness of the reality of who we are in God’s sight.
Whether we are aware of it or not, at every moment of our existence we are encountering God, who is trying to catch our attention, trying to draw us into a reciprocal conscious relationship.
Prayer helps us become more aware of the reality of our existence as the object of God’s communication.
We are not always alert to the presence of God. The religious dimension of experience is encountered by the person of faith who is on the alert for God.
Prayer heightens our awareness, it sharpens our ability to feel the ‘finger of God.’
Silence and solitude have meaning. They are not simply spaces to fill with activity or words, but a time to listen and rest in peace and an ever-increasing sense of being loved.
There is one thing that is primarily needed to undertake the spiritual journey, great desires.
We all experience internal ups and downs. In the process of noticing these various movements of our hearts we will have to learn to discern in our experiences what is of God from what is not of God. We must learn to examine the day and what is moving through it in terms of spiritual light or spiritual darkness.
The enjoyment of God should be the supreme end of prayer; and it is in that enjoyment of God that we feel not only saved but safe; we are conscious of truly belonging to God.
We all have experiences of desiring, experiences which are also accompanied by a feeling of great well-being. These experiences are experiences of being touched by the creative desire of God who desires us into being and continues us in being.
The desire I experience is that of God creating me now in all the particulars of my present existence. It is the deepest desire within me and is in tune with God’s one intention in creating the universe. That desire can become the ruling passion in my life, if I let it.
Insofar as this desire reigns in our heart, we also desire to live out our lives in harmony with this desire, to live in harmony with God’s creative purpose for us, to choose what will be more in tune with our desire for union with God.
God’s revelation of sin and sinful tendencies is enabling; it gives us courage to pick ourselves up and reform our lives.
In the presence of Holiness we become acutely conscious of how unholy we are and of how much we are in need of forgiveness.
When God reveals sin to us it is always with the purpose of moving us to amendment of life and of giving us the power to change.
Every life is different; we need to let God use the one we have and not bemoan the one we do not have.
We can discern that an experience is of God if it leads us forward, gives us hope, moves us toward freedom, indeed, helps us to move at all. The effects of the evil spirit are to keep us in a rut, asking unanswerable questions, leading us nowhere but to ennui and despair.
We are all addicted to something that keeps us from fully desiring what we most deeply want, namely God.
If we allow God to lead us our deepest desires will gradually emerge. These desires will also change in the course our developing relationship with him.
Our relationship with God will not only change our minds, it will develop our hearts, our desires and our hopes.
Desires are not under our control. If we do no like some of our desires, we can ask God to help us to overcome them or to change them, but ultimately we can only desire what we really do desire.
We cannot make ourselves desire union with God or intimacy with Jesus. But we can ask for a grace that is not in our power to produce in ourselves.
If people do not desire something which they want to desire, they can ask God to help them to desire it, to attract them to this desire.
Only when we have discerned what God has chosen for us, do we truly have a choice of whether we will choose it or not.
In order to have life we must not be afraid to lose it. If we try to protect ourselves from any loss because of fear, we are trapped. We cannot enjoy that which we are protecting.
The maxim of illusory religion runs: “Fear not; trust in God and he will see that none of the things you fear will happen to you; that of real religion, on the contrary, is ‘Fear not’; the things that you are afraid of are quite likely to happen to you, but they are nothing to be afraid of.”
The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates real religion. The passion and death really did happen, but the resurrection of Jesus says, they are nothing to be afraid of.
Prayer; Living with God; Simon Tugwell, O.P., Templegate Publ., Springfield, Ill., 1975
Prayer is keeping company with God, and accepting the consequences. It challenges us to accept the freedom, the mystery and the otherness of God as well as the unpredictability of ourselves.
One of the main problems about our relationship with God is that half the time we forget about it.
Prayer should appeal to our urge to explore, to adventure.
If we would fully accept the Lord’s grace, we shall first have to look deeply at the obstacles that block his way, obstacles that are there because we want to block his way. We want to exclude the remembrance of God, so that we may be God to ourselves.
If the basic reason why God is crowded out of our lives is simply that we want to be God ourselves, then it stands to reason that the very first point of conversion will be to stop being God, and so to leave room for God to be God.
If we would learn the true sense in which God is God we must first unlearn that kind of order which we try to impose on the world and on ourselves and on one another, simply to subject everything to ourselves, to protect us from the wideness and freedom of God’s world.
Any real growth in prayer will lead us into the desert, into the place of where we can no longer find our own bearings.
We must come our from behind the security of our home-made identity, our self-appointed responsibilities, into the spaciousness of God’s world whose dimensions and orientation we shall only gradually learn to recognize as freedom.
We must be ready to be dismantled, over and over again, until we are entirely remade, receiving our likeness to God from God himself.
Accepting the God who’s name is ‘I am’ means that we give up our preoccupation with who or what we are; we give up asserting our own ‘I am’ in favour of a more essential and more real ‘I am’ on the part of God.
God’s providence means that he integrates all our free choices, mistakes and sins and all, into his plan. He is the expert dancer who can make dance even out of the stumblings of the most atrocious partner.
Not to be downcast after committing a fault is one of the marks of true sanctity, the knowledge that God will know how to draw glory even from our faults.
God’s providence means that wherever we have got to, whatever we have done, that is precisely where the road to heaven begins.
In faith we can let God give us to ourselves, just as at the beginning he gave Adam to Adam. Then we can receive from him all this is ours, all our faculties, all our freedom, our capacity to take initiatives, to make decisions.
When we receive our lives from God our independence is no longer a challenge to God’s sovereignty but is precisely a most wonderful expression of it as we receive our freedom day by day, minute by minute, from the creative love of God.
It is faith that gives God space.
We must learn to be what we are, and that means accepting our limitations, our blindness, our confusion about our motivations, our frequent uncertainty as to whether what we have done was good or bad, helpful or unhelpful; and, accepting all that, to offer it all to God and let him do what he wants with it.
God wants our free will engaged in the working out of his will. He requires us to be people who have a will of our own so that we can unite with his.
Our spiritual life is not a matter of taking our disordered desires and managing not to give in to them, but in cultivating ordered desires and then managing to give into them often.
We must not try to love God. We must become the kind of people who, through prayer, will discover that we do love God and allow that love to flower.
Christian growth should make it harder and harder for us to identify God’s will as something external to us.
As faith becomes more and more operative in our hearts, our spontaneity is transformed at the root so that all our thinking and feeling and wanting is anchored more and more in God’s will.
The spiritual life is a growth in instinctive sensitivity to the will of God. It is a strong and sound confidence that our inventiveness, our freedom, will suggest to us things that are pleasing to our Father.
If we want to pray we must learn how to be empty-handed.
The life which Christ brings us, the life of fellowship with God, does not consist in our drawing God into our world, but in his drawing us into his world.
The centre of our prayer life is not us in our world, but God in his. We are meant to become part of God’s plans, not to make him part of ours.
Religious Affections; Jonathan Edwards, Multnomah Press, Portland, Ore., 1984
True religion is a supernatural gift of God’s Holy Spirit and bears evidence in our responsive affections.
The soul is never indifferent to what it sees. It either likes or dislikes, is pleased or is displeased, approves or rejects.
Like children we should always have our hearts tender. They should be easily affected and moved by spiritual and divine things.
Those kinds of books, types of preaching and liturgies of worship that help us truly worship God in prayer and praises are to be encouraged, as they help to affect deeply the hearts of those who do these things.
There is a natural love to Christ, as to someone that does you good; and there is a spiritual love for Christ himself whereby the Lord alone is exalted.
All that belongs to holiness of the heart, humility, meekness, love, forgiveness and mercy, is the very nature and fruit of true Christianity.
The real strength of the good disciple of Jesus Christ is simply the steadfast maintenance of a holy calmness, meekness, sweetness, and a benevolence of mind that is sustained amidst all the storms, injuries, wrong behaviour, and unexpected acts in this unreasonable world.
Nothing can be more contradictory than a morose, hard, closed, and spiteful Christian.
It is always the nature of spiritual pride to prompt us to seek distinction and singularity.
After conversion, even though the sense of guilt will be removed, one’s sensitivity to sin will be intensified. It is through this sensitivity that the heart will grow in tenderness.
True Christians long to pour out their souls before God in secret, earnest prayer and praise to him, seeking to live more for His glory and to be more conformed to Him each day.
Spiritual good is so satisfying that the more the soul tastes of it and knows its nature, the more it will desire, even when it is already satisfied. The babe, at its mother’s breast, has his sharpest appetite when in the best of health.
Our conversion is only the beginning of God’s work in us. From then on we are called to stand, to press forward, to reach out and continue in prayer, expressing our longing for God both day and night. Our need will grow as will our satisfaction. For the Lord, ‘fills the hungry with good things, while the rich are sent away empty.’
The Holy Spirit gives the soul a natural relish for the sweetness of what is holy and for everything that is holy as it comes into view. He also intensifies a dislike and disgust of everything that is unholy.
True godliness consists not merely in having a heart intent on doing the will of God, but having a heart that actually does it.
God’s desires for us are not dissimilar from our own truest, innermost desires for ourselves.
The reality of prayer in the name of Jesus is the search for a fuller, richer personality, the personality we most deeply long to have.
Silence becomes stale without the Word, but the Word loses its recreative power without the silence of the desert.
We have the Holy Spirit as our guide. But His presence depends also upon the condition that we do not grieve Him nor quench Him’.
The Love of God; Bernard de Clairvaux, Multnomah Press, Portland, Ore., 1983
Knowledge of God comes only through devotion to God.
Silence is the space most worthy of the mystery of God.
“You would not be seeking me if you had not already been found of me.”
Know yourself and you will have a wholesome fear of God. Know God and you will also love God. In the first, wisdom has its beginning; and in the second, it has its crown.
Cultivate the worshipful quest each day with silent meditation on the Word of God, and by prayer that seeks His Presence.
It is the heart, not the reason, which experiences the love of God. This then is faith; God, perceived by the heart.
The Will of God transforms our own will in order that we can love God as we should.
Since the Holy Spirit is the union of the Father and the Son, only by the Holy Spirit will that union between man and God be also restored.
Blessed is the soul with whom God takes up His residence and makes it the place of His rest. Blessed is he who can say, He that formed me has lodged and dwelt in my tabernacle.
God is available to each one, if only we will make it our preoccupation to be with Him and in Him.
Nothing can be so restless and fleeting than my heart. How exceedingly vain, trifling, wandering and unsettled is this vagabond. It is under a thousand different determinations at once. It seeks rest everywhere but finds it not.
Although the heart seeks anxiously for satisfaction yet it cannot attain any until it returns to the All-Sufficient object of its desire.
I can never have mastery of my own heart. Only God has that. So long then, as I am not united to God, I am divided within myself and at perpetual strife within myself.
Union with God can only be secured by love. And subjection to Him can only be grounded in humility. And humility can only be the result of genuinely knowing and believing the truth, that is, the truth of God and of myself.
I must continually discover how vital it is to lay hold of God and to hold Him fast, for it is from Him that I derive my being and without Whom I am nothing.
Because it is of sin that I have departed from my God, the way back to God is by true confession and repentance of those sins which set me at such a distance from Him.
We need only be concerned with our attachment to Christ, for Christ is the Way back to God.
All our desires for God have been placed within our own hearts by His prior desire for us.
No one who has not experienced the love of God can ever comprehend what it is like. And he who has tasted it, will long for it again.
As you grow in grace and continue to knock at the door with more assurance, you will seek and find what you discover is still lacking.
The teaching of the Holy Spirit does not sharpen curiosity, but kindles love.
“Turn Yourself, O my God, toward me, so that You will enable me to be humble.”
Just as the fear of God arises within you from the knowledge of yourself, and the love of God comes from knowing God, so on the contrary, pride arises from the lack of self-knowledge, and despair arises from the lack of the knowledge of God.
“My Beloved is mine, and I am His.” What is that mysterious and mutual love which seems so reciprocally made for each other, which comes with such kindness and familiarity. For you it is Him, and for Him it is you. You are to Him what He is to you.
The soul, seeking God, is anticipated by Him.
Of the Imitation of Christ; ThomasÂ a Kempis, Commission Press, Charlotte, NC, 1963.
The Bible ought always to be read with the assistance of the same Spirit by whose help it was written.
If you would know and learn anything profitable in life, love to be unknown, and to be regarded as of no account.
If you wish to derive profit from reading Scripture, be sure to read with lowliness, simplicity and faith.
Do not trust in your own knowledge, nor in your skill, but rather in the grace of God who helps the humble, and humbles the self-presuming.
It will never hurt you to put yourself under others; but it will be most hurtful to you to put yourself before others, even before one.
The lowly have continual peace, but the heart of the proud is continually disturbed by jealousy and indignation.
He who arranges that we should have temptations in order that we may put forth the effort to overcome them, will himself be at hand to help those who are striving and trusting in his grace.
“Assist me O God in this my good purpose, and grant that this day I may begin again towards my perfection.”
In various ways it comes to pass that we sometimes abandon our good spiritual purposes, and a slight omission in our devotions hardly ever happens without some loss to our souls.
Leave curious matters behind and read such subjects as are calculated to produce faith, more than mere occupation of the mind.ï¿½ Withdraw from what is superfluous and prefer to live in secret with God.
Do not make it a matter of your concern, who may be for you or against you; but let it be your business and care that God be with you in all you do.
A good peaceful man turns everything to good. He who is truly in peace never suspects other.
All our peace in this life consists in humbly bearing, not escaping, the things we do not like.
We often do wrong and, what is worse, excuse ourselves.
A spiritual person puts the care of their soul above all other concerns. Let nothing be high, nothing great, nothing exalted except God himself, or what is of God.
Remember, you are not more holy because you are praised; neither are you more vile, because you are blamed.
It is a great art to know how to hold converse with Jesus, and to know how to detain Him in the soul is great wisdom.
Be lowly and restful and Jesus will be present with you. Be devout and quiet, and Jesus will remain with you.
Let Jesus be loved with a special love, beyond all who are dear to you.
Blessed are they who strive day by day to gain a greater capacity for receiving heavenly secrets. Blessed are they who are glad to devote their time to God.
If you unduly desire the things which are present, you will lose those which are eternal and heavenly. Use the temporal; desire the eternal.
Allow God to do as he pleases with you. He knows what is best for you. Whatever he does with you, it can be nothing but good.
Choose always to have less rather than more. Seek always the lower place, and to be under all. This is the way of peace and of true liberty.
O Lord we are in darkness, and by vanity are soon misled and led astray.
If you seek this or that, and whether to be here or there for your own convenience, or for the sake of having your own way, you will never be at rest, nor free from anxiety.
You ought to aim diligently at this, that, in every place, action, and outward employment, you may be inwardly free and self-controlled; and that all things may be under you, and not you under them. That you may be lord and master of your actions, and not a slave or hireling.
If Thou art present all things are delightful, but if Thou art absent all things are wearisome. Thou makes us to think well of all, and to praise Thee in all circumstances. If anything is to be pleasant and delightful, Thy grace must accompany it.
Thou aimest at my salvation and turnest all things to my profit.