left Quote

(1651 – 1715)

Anyone who asks of God something that he does not desire from the bottom of his heart, is mistaken in thinking that he prays. Let him spend days in reciting prayers, in meditation or in inciting himself to pious exercises, he is not rot really praying if he does not really desire what he is asking for…. St. Augustine says: The one who loves little, prays little; the one who loves much, prays much.

"The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom 8:27).  For "we do not know not what we should pray for as we ought," and, in our ignorance, frequently request what would be injurious; we would like fervour of devotion, distinct sensory joys and apparent perfections, which would serve to nourish within us the life of self and a confidence in our own strength; but love leads us on, abandons us to all the operations of grace, puts us entirely at the disposal of God's will, and thus prepares us for all his secret designs…. The Spirit prays within us for those very things which the Spirit himself wills to give us.

[Julian of Norwich: “The Lord brought all this suddenly to my mind, and revealed these words and said: I am the ground of your beseeching. First, it is my will that you should have it, and then I make you to wish it, and then I make you to beseech it.”]

right quotation

In their many different idioms the classical spiritual writers have attempted to throw light on the eternal question of union with God. 
Every month we give you a brief passage from a spiritual classic.