Thursday, February 06, 2014

St. Teresa of Avila on Contemplation

"My method of prayer was this:

As I could not reason with my mind, I would try to make pictures of Christ inwardly; and I used to think I felt better when I dwelt on those parts of His life when He was most often alone.

It seemed to me that His being alone and afflicted, like a person in need, made it possible for me to approach Him.

I had many simple thoughts of this kind.

I was particularly attached to the prayer in the garden, where I would go to keep Him company.

I would think of the sweat and of the affliction He endured there.

I wished I could have wiped that grievous sweat from His face, but I remember that I never dared to resolve to do so, ....

I used to remain with Him there for as long as my thoughts permitted it. .....

This method of praying in which the mind makes no reflections means that the soul must either gain a great deal or lose itself --

I mean by its attention going astray.

If it advances, it goes a long way, because it is moved by love.

But those who arrive thus far will do so only at great cost to themselves, save when the Lord is pleased to call them very speedily to the Prayer of Quiet."

~ St. Teresa of Avila, The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus, of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel 

No comments: