Quote for the Day

Saints and divines teach us that prayer is the elevation of the soul to God. If thy prayer by word of mouth serves this purpose, well and good. But even so: if my clothing serves me, all the same it is not my own self. Thus does all prayer of the mouth serve true prayer; but in itself and taken alone it is not true prayer.

— Blessed John Tauler, quoted in
The Soul Afire: Revelations of the Mystics
edited by H. A. Reinhold.

Preliminary Practices for Christian Contemplatives
Why Is "Mysticism" A Dirty Word?
Happy St. Hildegard's Day!
What Has Not Yet Been Revealed
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • jaxthoughts

    In the church denomination in which I was raised, it seemed that “prayer” was a contest of who could say the longest, or the most moving, or whatever verbal public prayer–a prayer that certainly did not inspire an elevation of my soul. And Jesus warned his disciples about praying for the public, advising one to shut oneself off alone to pray–to get in touch with God. Also the pastor (who happened to be my dad) randomly asked someone in the congregation to give the prayer. When I became old enough to be included in the random selection, I would freeze with fear of being called upon. Recently, many years away from that scenario, I asked my dad why Jesus’s warning wasn’t heeded in his church, and he said that the warning wasn’t relevant when one prayed within the church family. I guess it’s not my place to judge what another finds to be spiritual, but as for me, I wholeheartedly agree with today’s quote.