Saint Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641) ON PRAYER

[This is the sixteenth of a series of posts featuring a saint, mystic, or writer to include some of their thoughts on prayer as well as a prayer written by or ascribed to him or her.  Yesterday was this saint’s Feast. For more about her, visit the Saint of the Day blog on the right column of this blog.]

For prayer, we need only to keep ourselves simply and calmly attentive to God by breathing aspirations of love without voluntary distractions.  The whole time we are thus present before Him will be taken for a prayer in God’s sight.

In prayer, you must be as a vessel open and exposed before God that he may distill into it his grace, drop by drop, as he wills. God will fill your soul with this divine water if you come before him often with lively faith.

To feel God’s presence so intimately and powerfully, so that you are no longer aware of yourself is to have that little drop of water, self, dissolve in the ocean of divinity.

We must keep our hearts open and wait for the heavenly dew to fall, because the graces of prayer are not like water welling up from the earth, but more like water coming down from the heavens.

In prayer more is accomplished by listening than by talking. Let us leave to God the decision as to what shall be said, without troubling ourselves to find a theme or subject in our own minds. God speaks to the heart.

Act of Abandonment to Divine Providence by St. Jane Frances
O sovereign goodness of the sovereign Providence of my God!
I abandon myself forever to Thy arms.
Whether gentle or severe, lead me henceforth whither Thou wilt;
I will not regard the way through which Thou wilt have me pass,
but keep my eyes fixed upon Thee, my God, who guidest me.
My soul finds no rest without the arms and the bosom of this heavenly Providence,
my true Mother, my strength and my rampart.

Therefore I resolve with Thy divine assistance, 0 my Savior,
to follow Thy desires and Thy ordinances,
without regarding or examining why Thou dost this rather than that;
but I will blindly follow Thee according to Thy divine will,
without seeking my own inclinations.

Hence I am determined to leave all to Thee,
taking no part therein save by keeping myself in peace in Thy arms,
desiring nothing except as Thou incitest me to desire, to will, to wish.
I offer Thee this desire, 0 my God, beseeching Thee to bless it;
I undertake all it includes, relying on Thy goodness, liberality, and mercy,
with entire confidence in Thee, distrust of myself, and
knowledge of my infinite misery and infirmity



About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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