Friday, November 4, 2011


Yesterday I quoted St. Paul of the Cross, who exhorted us to “make aspirations to God.” What does this mean – to make aspirations to God?

Aspirations are brief prayers that can be lifted to God inwardly, wherever we are and whatever we may be doing.  They’re an ancient monastic practice, but are particularly practical for those of us striving to keep our hearts fixed on God in the midst of a bustling world. 
"These brief ascents of the soul heavenward, these liftings of the mind and heart to God, briefly but frequently: this is what enables the monk… to live a life of prayer and intimate union with God.  As the monk goes about his daily duties, he… gives himself to this practice of terse but frequent prayer.” (Wilfrid Tunink OSB, Vision of Peace, pp. 277-278)

“The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of praying always…  This prayer is possible ‘at all times’ because it is not one occupation among others but the only occupation:  that of loving God, which animates and transfigures every action in Jesus Christ.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2668)

“All aspirations are better when they are brief…. As we draw in the fresh air and breathe forth that which is exhausted, so we draw God into the soul and breathe forth self into the arms of His mercy.  Blessed is the soul which does this, for then it lives in God and He in it.”  (St. Francis de Sales)

With practice, I can learn to remain in active communication with God no matter where I happen to be.  As I join throngs of shoppers in the mall, ride the subway, take care of laundry, drive through rush hour traffic....  I can keep my heart attentive to God…..

“My God and my all!” 

“Jesus, I trust in You.”

“Lord, have mercy on us.”

"My God, I adore You."

“Jesus… Jesus…. Jesus…..”