Pray to God in Secret

“Go into your room” (Matt. 6:6) — that is, into the most private part of your home, or rather, go into the most in­timate place in your heart. Recollect yourself completely. “Shut the door” (Matt. 6:6). Shut your senses, and let no foreign thoughts enter. “Pray in secret.” Open your heart to God alone. Let him be the keeper of your innermost sorrows.

“Do not heap up empty phrases” (Matt. 6:7). It is un­necessary to tell God your needs in lengthy speeches, for he knows all of them before you say a word. Tell him interiorly about what will profit you, and recollect your­self in God. The prayers of the pagans, who do not know God, are only a heap of senseless phrases. Say little with your lips and much in your heart. Do not multiply your thoughts, for doing so will only confuse and tire you.

Bring your attention to rest upon some important truth that captures your mind and heart. Consider, weigh, and taste it; ruminate upon it; enjoy it. Truth is the bread of the soul. You do not need to swallow each morsel whole. Nor do you need always to be passing from one truth to another. Hold on to one, embracing it until it becomes a part of you. Attach your heart to it even more than your mind. Draw forth all of its juices by pressing it with your attention.

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