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Heart to heart

The truly prayerful person, the person adult in the ways of the Spirit, does not pray to get things. The person of mature faith prays only The Breath of the Soul by Joan Chittisterto become like the One who leads us to the fullness of God. We pray to become more like Jesus, always more and more immersed as time goes by….
We pray to know God in every small way we can here so that we ourselves can become more like the God we seek.
To bring ourselves to sense the God-life within us, to sit in silence and allow the soul to be nourished under the impulse of the Spirit is to grow in wisdom and age and grace. It lifts us above the tumult of the world around us. It deepens our understanding of what it is to live in the sight of God. It brings us closer to seeing God face to face, heart to heart, mind to mind. We do not go to prayer to coax God to create the world according to our own personal designs and fancies. We are there to learn how to live well in the life and world we have.

A life of prayer is not an exercise in spiritual athleticism. We do not go down into prayer every day just to prove to ourselves that we can do it. We go down into prayer in order to become both more humble before God who made us and more confident that the God who made us will sustain us in our limitations. We go down into prayer to become like the One whose life lives in us.

    —This excerpt from Breath of the Soul by Joan Chittister (Twenty-Third Publications) was reprinted in the monthly devotional Give Us This Day (Liturgical Press) on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022.

PS: Sister Joan Chittister’s monthly reflection pamphlet, The Monastic Way, is dedicated to the subject of prayer for September 2022. Sister Joan will lead a Zoom discussion on the September Monastic Way. Subscribers are invited to register for the event. For a free subscription to The Monastic Wayclick here.