Shut up and pray

Direction of conscience itself should not become an idle chat. ‘I should say,’ wrote Bossuet to Sister Cornuau, ‘that there seems to me a manifest defect in present-day piety: people talk too much about their prayer and their state. Instead of worrying about the degrees of prayer, they ought, without all this introspection, to pray simply as God gives them to pray, and not have so much to say about it.’ And St. John of the Cross says: ‘What is wanting, if there be anything wanting, is not writing or talking there is more than enough of that but silence and action. Moreover, talking distracts the soul, while silence joined to action produces recollection and gives the spirit a marvellous strength. Therefore, when one has made a soul know all that is necessary for its progress, it has no further need to listen to the words of others or to talk itself.’ — Dom Paul Delatte (Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict, p. 96)


2 thoughts on “Shut up and pray

  1. An English Dominican once told me that there are only three categories of people who really need spiritual direction as opposed to confession: the scrupulous, those seeking their state of life and those receiving extraordinary mystical graces.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This reminds me of Simone Weil’s Gravity and Grace; a few snippets:

        Grace fills empty spaces but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void. (10)

    The imagination is continually at work filling up all the fissures through which grace might pass. (16)

    Every void (not accepted) produces hatred, sourness, bitterness, spite. The evil we wish for that which we hate, and which we imagine, restores the balance. (16)


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