Monday, May 20, 2013

Excellent prayers: "Loving desire of our heart towards God, and . . . .

 . . . .suffering of things that displease us."  St. Jane de Chantal, 1572-1641

St. Jane had several great reflections captured in my copy of The New Jerusalem Bible: Saints Devotional Edition.  This one comes from a counsel of hers on dealing with distractions while praying, that was put alongside of Matthew 6:1-14. 

(Jesus taught them) "When you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father."  --Matthew 6:6
The rest of this post is written by St. Jane to counsel us in the way of prayer.  Emphasis was added in places by me.


Prayer is the channel that unites our heart to the heart of God.  It draws waters from heaven that descend and rise from us to God and from God to us.  Prayer is the first act of our faith, and consequently what the apostle says of faith--that it is impossible to please God without it (see Hebrews 11:6)--we must say of prayer.  By it we ask God and Jesus Christ, who is our deliverer, to save us.  We feel so despoiled by our weakness that we should perish unless he sustained us every moment with new graces.
When we place ourselves in the presence of his divine goodness to speak to him alone, then our prayer consists in the presence of our spirit before his and of his Spirit before ours.  That's the case whether we have good thoughts and good sentiments or not.  We need only with all simplicity and without any violent spiritual effort to keep ourselves before him.  We should express our love for him and focus our attention on him without entertaining any voluntary distractions.

Then God will view the whole time we are on our knees as prayer.  He loves our humbly enduring the vain and involuntary thoughts that attack us as much as the best thoughts we have had at other times. 
One of the most excellent prayers is the loving desire of our heart towards God, and the suffering of things that displease us.  Prayer is then united to patience, which is the premier virture.  And the soul that rises humbly from its distractions may believe that it has prayed as well as if it had not suffered from them at all.


  1. Colleen, I love St Jane. Thanks for sharing this. I am going to have to check out that bible.

  2. Thanks for sharing Colleen!

    God Bless.

  3. This is excellent! Thank you Colleen.

  4. Thanks, Colleen - I loved this post!