Monday, October 5, 2009
"By this we mean the immediate preparation. But to enter into contact with God by means of prayer, it is not enough to dispose oneself merely at the moment when one wishes to speak to Him more intimately. In several places St Teresa develops at length the need to prepare oneself by the practice of virtue. She demands from souls who wish to find God in prayer a great purity of conscience, a complete detachment from created things, true humility, recollection of soul, fervent desires, confidence that one will succeed, and a great generosity. This is easy to understand: 'God does not force our will; He only takes what we give to Him. But He does not give Himself to us entirely unless we give ourselves to Him without reserve.'
As for the immediate preparation, this consists in purifying ourselves, being recollected, and becoming aware of the infinite greatness of Him with whom we are about to hold converse. The Majesty of God, as well as our position as creatures and sinners, makes this a duty for us. On the other hand, the more conscious we are of the infinity of God's Being, the greater will be the reverence with which we keep ourselves in His presence. It is true that God is also our Father and we are His children. But we do not always behave as real children of the Heavenly Father should, by being docile and eager to please Him in everything. That is why, before speaking more intimately with Him, the soul prostrates itself before God and adores Him. It confesses before Him its nothingness, its misery, and its faults, and implores His pardon."
-- The Spirit and Prayer of Carmel by Fr François Jamart, ocd