Prayer of Quiet

“…those things not requested, but felt deep in the soul….a reaching and feeling after that does not rely on words; this is often a difficult reaching to attain.” S. Michael Wilcox Face To Face ch 5.

As a child I didn’t understand that one could pray without speaking the prayer.  My mind is a busy thing…always thinking.  Too much thinking and not enough just being still.  I have what this author calls a “monkey mind,” always jumping around.  It takes practice to learn to be still.  In a world full of busyness and running about with the cares of the world, with technology at our fingertips 24/7, it is a strange thing to sit still, pushing no buttons, typing no words, watching no shows.  But I love the practice.  I love the still.

“We all know rain is more effective in watering plants than pumping from a well or diverting streams.  Drawing water from the well, generally speaking, is what we have been calling reaching for God.  Rain is God pouring his love into our souls, teaching us what to feel and ask and nourishing our growing virtues.  Both are necessary….the more spiritually mature learn to reach out with their hearts and attain the Prayer of Quiet.  In the Prayer of Recollection, the memory and mind are very active, searching for things for which to thank God or expressing our needs and desires as requests….but in the Prayer of Quiet, the mind calms, the always-probing memory is stilled, desire fills the soul, and the rain falls.”  S. Michael Wilcox Face To Face ch 5.


“When God’s love does the watering, we need to eliminate the noise.  ‘What I call noise is scurrying around with the intellect to come up with lots of words and thoughts to use in thanking God for this blessing, and piling up sins and faults to make it obvious that these gifts are undeserved.  Everything is in motion, the intellect showing what it can do, and the memory rushing about’ (Medwick, Teresa of Avila, 105).”


“The Prayer of Quiet we speak of ‘is a state in which the soul enters into peace,’ Teresa writes, ‘or rather in which the Lord gives it peace through His presence….In this state all the faculties are stilled. …The mind tries to occupy itself with only one thing, and the memory has no desire to busy itself with more: they both see that this is the one thing needful. …They are so overwhelmed and absorbed by the joy and delight which they experience that they can think of nothing to ask for’ (St Teresa, The Way of Perfection, 200-202; emphasis added)” S. Michael Wilcox Face To Face ch 5.

I have never attained this as of yet.  It has been a goal for some time now.   But I keep practicing.  And some day.  I hope to succeed.  Until then, I will simply enjoy the practice.

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  1. It reminds me of my wish to have a Mary mind in a Martha world. To shut out all noise, strife, and discontent and to sit quietly at the feet of Christ. Blessings to you

    • Ah, the Mary/Martha saga. I love how you put it… “a Mary mind in a Martha world.” It’s so true though. This Martha world can overtake us so easily. I often wonder if I had been there, would I have been Mary or Martha? I don’t know. My heart is Mary, my mind is Martha I think. When I sit and analyze that story, I think how much I would have wanted to be Mary, sitting and soaking in all that Jesus had to say. But my mind would have gone crazy trying to figure out how I was going to feed the little party that had arrived, and all that goes along with that task. It is a story I love. Thank you for sharing Petra. You are becoming a dear friend through this blogging world!

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