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Monday, February 08, 2010

Distractions in Prayer

The Breeze of Thoughts
(click on the picture to see it larger)

"When the mind’s intentionality is fixed on God
the incense of prayer will be protected,
and the breeze of thoughts from the outside
will not disturb it.
When intentionality is right,
any thought coming involuntarily is no cause for alarm."


Anonymous said...

St. Jude Pray For Me said...

From :

Distractions During Prayer

Brother John Raymond - Community of the Monks of Adoration 12/12/93: "Many people complain of distractions during prayer. One must not think that this is only a problem for people of today. Shakespeare writes the following for one of the characters in his plays: My words rise up, My thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts seldom to Heaven go.

What is a distraction? Let me describe some. I start praying perhaps by meditating on a Mystery of the Rosary. I am thinking about the Presentation in the Temple while praying the Hail Mary when all of a sudden I am thinking about a baseball game, what's for lunch or what I'm going to do the next day. Now if I did not mean to think these distracting thoughts then my prayer has not been in vain. Remember that prayer is not an intellectual exercise but a conversation or a desire for a relationship with God. Still, many people would like to have less distractions during prayer. Here are some suggestions that might help.

When you realize during prayer that you are no longer in the Presence of God but have wandered somewhere else then throw the distraction out. But one must do this gently and not with violence. A violent return to prayer can be a bigger distraction than what one is trying to throw out. The spiritual writers of old used to advise that one simply brushed distractions away as if they were annoying flies. This is a good analogy for the problem. I know that when I am talking to someone and a fly takes a great interest in me I am only momentarily distracted from the conversation. But let a bee instead of a fly landed on me and we have a totally different story. The conversation with the other person would be abruptly stopped while I tried to avoid being stung. My total concentration would be on the bee and not on the person I was talking to for some time. So treat distractions lightly and don't worry about them.


With All Respect

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