II. Preparation
(Little Catechism of the Life of Prayer, 2.7, 3.1-6)

"I have stilled my soul, hushed it like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother's lap, so is my soul within me." (Psalm 131.2)

"Be still before the Lord; wait for God." (Psalm 37.7)

Prayer's Preparation

Vagrant affections of the heart,
And wild horses of the mind,
Should be corralled and kept apart -
In times of prayer, these are confined.

The prepared heart and mind are freed
To focus on the Lord alone;
To follow, with the Spirit's lead,
Unto the foot of the Lord's throne.

The humble child of the Lord
Draws near to Him with loving trust;
Preparing to receive His word -
A precious gift He will entrust.

In His presence, the child rests
With confidence, held in His love;
Prepared to welcome the soul's Guests,
With heart lifted, eyes raised above.

Good preparation is needed;
Lest the Lord's word go unheeded.

"I am not asking you now to think of Him, or to form numerous conceptions of Him, or to make long and subtle meditations with your understanding. I am asking you only to look at Him. For who can prevent you from turning the eyes of your soul (just for a moment, if you can do no more) upon this Lord?… Your Spouse never takes His eyes off you, daughters… He longs so much for us to look at Him once more that it will not be for lack of effort on His part if we fail to do so." (St. Teresa of Jesus, Way of Perfection, chapter 26)

Holy Spirit, grant me the grace to recollect the wandering thoughts and affections of my mind and heart in You, that I may be stilled as a child resting in Your presence. Amen.

(c) Paul Buis, 2007