The psalmist sa…

The psalmist says: “And all my desire is before you” (Ps 37[38],10). Not indeed before men, who cannot see into the heart: but “before you is all my desire”. Set your desire on him, and “the Father who sees in secret will repay you” (Mt 6,4). This very desire of yours is your prayer. If your desire is continual, your prayer is continual too. It was not for nothing that the Apostle Paul said: “Pray without ceasing” (1Thes 5 17). Was it so that we should be continuously on our knees, or prostrating our bodies or raising our hands that he says: “Pray without ceasing” ? If that is how we say our prayers, then my opinion is that we cannot do that without ceasing. But there is another and interior way of praying without ceasing, and that is the way of desire. Whatever else you are doing, if you long for that Sabbath rest, you are not ceasing to pray. If you do not want to cease praying, do not cease longing… You will lapse into silence if you lose your longing. Who did lapse into silence? Those of whom it was said: “Because wickedness is multiplied, the charity of many will grow cold” (Mt 24,12). The coldness of charity is the heart’s silence; its glowing ardour, the heart’s outcry. If charity “endures for ever” (1Cor 13,8), you are ever crying out; if always crying out, you are ever longing; if longing, you have not forgotten repose. ‘And all my desire is before you… And my groaning is not hidden from you”… If the desire is always within, so too is the groaning: it does not always come to the ears of men, but it is never absent from the ears of God.

The never old St. Augustin.

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