The Catechetical Saints
Part 18

Where does prayer come from?
many are asking today.

 According to Scripture, the CATECHISM replies,
                     it is the HEART that prays.
   (#2562)

                                              Better than knowing by heart the thousand-plus Scriptural references to “heart,” St. Francis and St. Clare, with Scriptural wisdom and simplicity, LIVED by the heart.  They knew that

The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others.

This is what made them so sensitive to others in their joys and sorrows and struggles, as they recognized that

only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully.(#2563)

                    Uppermost on the Assisian saints’ spiritual agenda was to pray to God always with a pure heart.  They saw so clearly that

the heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives.

 They also realized that it takes daily deciding to respond to the call to set one’s heart on the things that are above, where Christ is.  Their whole-hearted living of the Gospel had its share of trials and sufferings.  Francis knew the bitterness of disappointment; Clare, the burden of a long and lingering illness.  Yet, they knew where peace and strength are to be found, in

the heart (which) is the place of encounter, the place of the covenant. (#2563)

                 In the depths of their hearts, they encountered Christ; in the stillness of their hearts, they continually communed with the God of the covenant.
And so they could truly sing:

The God of my HEART is my portion forever. (Psalm 73)
                                                                                 

 HOME                                       BACK