“The only way to pray is to pray”

“Prayer, in the sense of union with God, is the most crucifying thing there is.”

Eclectic Orthodoxy

April 11, 1927

My dear …

As to advice, I can only tell you what I think. I recommend you prayer, because it is good for everybody, and our Lord tells us to pray. As to method, do what you can do, and what suits you. It seems obvious that the spiritual reading and meditation fails to help you; and the simplest kind of prayer is best. So use that.

But prayer, in the sense of union with God, is the most crucifying thing there is. One must do it for God’s sake; but one will not get any satisfaction out of it, in the sense of feeling “I am good at prayer”, “I have an infallible method”. That would be disastrous, since what we learn is precisely our own weakness, powerlessness, unworthiness. Nor ought one to expect “a sense of the reality of the supernatural” of which you speak…

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