Follow the Attraction Given

If, when the Church is keeping her great liturgical feasts, you should be drawn to the prayer of simplicity, let it not disquiet you that your mind is not occupied with the mystery of the day, for you must always follow where you are being drawn by God. However, outside the time of prayer we may read or think about the feast being celebrated… But, for prayer itself, the secret is always to follow the attraction given to us. Oh, my God, how many souls are oftentimes troubled about their prayer, doubting if they pray correctly, and yet to pray as he draws them is all God asks.
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

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3 thoughts on “Follow the Attraction Given

  1. Yes, Julian of Norwich says something similar about prayer, from a slightly different view:
    ‘And all this brought our Lord suddenly to my mind, and shewed these words, and said: “I am [the] Ground of thy beseeching: first it is my will that thou have it; and after, I make thee to will it; and after, I make thee to beseech it and thou beseechest it. How should it then be that thou shouldst not have thy beseeching?”‘

    from Revelations of Divine Love ch. 41

    • I didn’t know about Julian of Norwich, but this is certainly a very common theme. The earliest I’ve found the “follow the attraction given” advice is various Desert Fathers (I’ve seen it in Joseph Hazzaya and Evagrius). Later writers like Francis de Sales, Alphonsus Liguori, and probably the medievals, too, were drawing water from the same spring, I think. =)

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