Not Intellectually; But Simply, Gently

Be careful not to intellectualize during prayer, for this can be harmful (it can be so in general but especially during prayer). Approach the Beloved Object of your prayer with your affections quite simply and as gently as you can. Naturally, every so often, your intellect may assert itself and try to apply itself; don’t waste time with this, nor waste time trying to guard against it; both courses are distractions. When you notice the distraction, be content simply to return to your acts of will [in prayer].
Saint Francis de Sales

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One thought on “Not Intellectually; But Simply, Gently

  1. Good advice, which I’ve been following the last few days with my overactive thoughts of late. But what does he mean by “harmful”? Teresa of Avila also alludes a couple times to possible dangers during prayer and fails to carry through on a complete explanation, like this quote of St. Francis de Sales. What is the “harm” he is talking about? To me “Harm” is beyond just your prayer being not effective due to distractions. It means damage, hurt, ect. Or is that what he means and I’m reading too much into the word “harm”. Cryptic writing is frustrating to me. I guess I should go back and re-read the St Therese quote of July 13!

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