Wednesday, July 7, 2010

stretching out toward God

When you go apart to be alone for prayer, put from your mind 
everything you have been doing or plan to do.  
Reject all thoughts, be they good or be they evil.  
Do not pray with words unless you are really drawn to this; 
or if you do pray with words, pay no attention to whether they are many or few.  
Do not weigh them or their meaning. 
 Do not be concerned about what kind of prayers you use, 
for it is unimportant whether or not they are official liturgical prayers, 
psalms, hymns, or anthems; whether they are for particular or general intentions; 
or  whether you formulate them interiorly, by thoughts, 
or express them aloud, in words.  
See that nothing remains in your conscious mind 
save a naked intent stretching out toward God.

from chapter 1 of The Book of Privy Counseling
by an anonymous fourteenth-century English author