Monday, January 09, 2006

Octave of Epiphany.
The prayer of recollection in words of St Teresa - the quotations taken from 'The Complete Works of Saint Teresa of Jesus' vols 1&2 tr.EA Peers, London: Sheed&Ward, 1944, 1946 after E.McCaffrey OCD 'Quietly resting in God' Mount Carmel v.54 no.1
"Remember how important it is to have understood this truth - that the Lord is within us and that we should be there with Him" (Way of Perfection 28:3). ...'imagine that we have within us a palace of priceless worth.....Imagine that within the palace dwells this great King, Who has vouchsafed to become your Father, and Who is seated upon a throne of supreme price-namely, your heart' (WP 28:9); "Those who are able to shut themselves up in this way within this little Heaven of the soul, wherein dwells the Maker of Heaven and earth, and who have formed the habit of looking at nothing and staying in no place which will distract these outward senses, may be sure that they are walking on the excellent road, and will come without fail to drink of the water of the fountain, for they will journey a long way in a short time" (WP 28:5)

"Now, in the first place, you know that His Majesty teaches that this prayer must be made when we are alone, just as He was often alone when He prayed" (WP 24:4). "However quietly we speak, He is so near that He will hear us: we need no wings to go in search of Him but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us" (WP 28:2).

"There are some souls, and some minds as unruly as horses not yet broken in. No one can stop them: now they go this way, now that way; they are never still" (WP 19:2). "If I can recall the companionship which I have within my soul for as much as a moment, that is of great utility....All I want is that we should know and abide with the Person with whom we are speaking, and not to turn our backs upon Him; for that, it seems to me, is what we are doing when we talk to God and yet think of all kind of vanity" (WP 29:5).

"I am not asking you now to think of Him.... or to make long and subtle meditations with your understanding. I am asking you only to look at Him. For who can prevent you from turning the eyes of your soul (just for a moment, if you can do no more) upon this Lord?" (WP 26:3). "He never takes His eyes off you. See, He is only waiting for us to look at Him....He longs so much for us to look at Him"(WP 26:3).

".....but speak with Him as with a Fether, a Brother, a Lord and a Spouse - and, sometimes in one way and sometimes in another. He will teach you what you must do to please Him. Do not be foolish: ask Him to let you speak to Him... Remember....that the Lord is within us and that we should be there with Him" (WP 28:3). "If words do not fail you when you talk to people on earth, why should they do so when you talk to God?....for both kinship and friendship lose their influence when communication ceases" (WP 26:9). "Do you suppose that, because we cannot hear Him, He is silent? He speaks clearly to the heart when we beg Him from our hearts to do so" (WP24:5). " thing is needful: you must not leave the side of the Master" (WP 24:5). "Keep at the side of this good Master and be most firmly resolved to learn what He teaches you" (WP 26:10).
"All I want is that we should know and abide with the person with Whom we are speaking" (WP 29:5) "The whole mischief comes from our not really grasping the fact that He is near us, and imaging Him far away-so far, that we shall have to go to Heaven in order to find Him" (WP 29:5). "How is it, Lord, that we do not look at Your face, when it is so near us? We do not think people are listening to us when we are speaking to them unless we see them looking at us. And do we close our eyes so as not to see that You are looking at us?" (WP 29:5).

"If....recollection is genuine, the fact becomes very evident...It is as if the soul were rising from play, for it sees that wordly things are nothing but toys; so in due course it rises above them, like a person entering a strong castle, in order that it may have nothing more to fear from its enemies. It withdraws the senses from all outward things and spurns them so completely that, without its understanding how, its eyes close and it cannot see them and the soul's spiritual spiritual sight becomes clear" (WP 28:6).

The prayer of recollection is a prayer of love and those who practice it - "are more secure... and the fire of Divine love is the more readily enkindled in them; for they are so near that fire that...any small spark that flies out at them will cause them to burst into flame" (WP 28:8) "When no hindrance comes to it from outside, the soul remains alone with its God and is thoroughly prepared to become enkindled" (WP 28:8) "It is a method of prayer which establishes habits that prevent the soul from going astray and the faculties from becoming restless" (WP 29:6).

"When a soul sets out upon this path, He does not reveal Himself to it, lest it should feel dismayed at seeing that its littleness can contain such greatness; but gradually He enlarges it to such an extent requisite for what He has to set within it....He has power to make the whole of this palace great" (WP 28:12) "For love of the Lord....accustom yourselves to saying the Our Father in this recollected way, and before long you will see how you gain by doing so...I only beg you to test it, even at the cost of a little trouble, which always results when we try to form a new habit. I assure you, however, that before long you will have a great comfort of finding it unnecessary to tire yourselves with seeking this holy Father to Whom you pray, for you will discover Him within you" (WP 29:6).