Saint Silouan (1866-1938), Orthodox monk
“When he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth”
If you want to pray in your heart and are not able, be content to pray with your lips and keep your mind attentive to what you are saying. Little by little the Lord will also give you the grace of interior prayer and then you will know how to pray without distractions. Don’t try to bring about prayer of the heart by using techniques; you would risk harming your heart and, in the end, you would only be praying with the lips. Acknowledge the rule of the spiritual life: God grants his gifts to those who are humble and without guile. Be obedient; don’t overdo things, whether in food, speech, or whatever you undertake. Then the Lord himself will give you the grace of interior prayer…
Spiritual silence is born of the desire to fulfil Christ’s command: �Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul… with all your strength,� (Mk 12,30). It is a silence brought about by the search for the living God in anyone who wants to be free from this world’s temptations so that they can find our Lord in fullness of love and live in his presence in pure prayer. Lord, how could I not seek you? You have revealed yourself to my soul in such an amazing way! You have made it a prisoner of your love and it cannot forget you. Indeed, the soul recognizes its Lord all at once in the Holy Spirit; who can describe this joy, this consolation? The Holy Spirit acts within the whole man, mind, soul and body; even so is God acknowledged, on earth as in heaven. In his infinite goodness the Lord has granted this grace to me—sinner that I am—so that men might know him and turn back to him.
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