Part 6: Exploring Prayer of the Heart (Based on Chapter 31) Way of Perfection
Sister Donna does such a thorough job in Part 6 of explaining Chapter 31 that there is really nothing left of the chapter for me to highlight! I love her own comparison of this prayer of quiet to a baby totally surrendering to sleep in the arms of a trusted parent.
Perhaps I will just re-emphasize one point in the chapter that Sister Donna has also covered in her video, that of the desire one feels to prolong this state, because I think it is something many of us have experienced, especially early on. Teresa writes: “The will is the one that is captive here. If there is some sorrow that can be experienced while in this state, that sorrow comes from a realization that the will must return to the state of being free.” A little further in the chapter, where Sister Donna speaks of some peoples’ fear of even taking a breath lest the prayer of quiet disappear, Teresa says, “This is foolish, for just as there’s nothing we can do to make the sun rise, there’s little we can do to keep it from setting. This prayer is no longer our work, for it’s something very supernatural and something very much beyond our power to acquire by ourselves. The best way to hold on to this favor is to understand clearly that we can neither bring it about nor remove it; we can only receive it with gratitude, as most unworthy of it…”
I would like to thank Sister Donna once again for her work in putting together this series and sharing both St. Teresa of Avila’s insights with us, as well as her own. God bless and protect you in your continued evangelization and in your life of prayer, Sister Donna, and know that we are inspired and grateful for you living out your vocation in such a way that we all may benefit from it.