"When the reader falls any place which moves his affection, let him there pause awhile, that in his heart it may cause a greater impression."

Finding God through Meditation, by St. Peter of Alcantara, brings the wisdom of the great saint into your hands. St. Peter directed St. Teresa of Avila on difficult questions she had about prayer and she turned to this work for guidance.

I’ll be sharing excerpts from the book here, in the hope that you’ll be inspired to spend time prayerfully reflecting on them and growing closer to God as a result. This excerpt comes from the second section of the book, "The Way of Meditation."

Of Reading

After a due preparation follows reading those things that are to be meditated upon; that must not be too hasty, but mature, serious and quiet; to which the understanding must not only be attentive, to understand those things which are read, but also, and chiefly, the will; that those things which are understood may give a spiritual gust and feeling. When the reader falls upon any place which much moves his affection, let him there pause awhile, that in his heart it may cause a greater impression. He must also beware not to spend too much time in reading, thereby to hinder meditation, it being a more fruitful exercise; for as much as things attentively considered pierce more inwardly and produce greater effect.

What to do when the mind is distracted: If, peradventure, sometime it happens that the mind be so dispersed that it cannot settle itself to prayer, then it is better to insist awhile longer in reading, or to join reading to meditation; or alter the reading of one point, to pause upon that awhile, then after the same manner to proceed to the others: although the understanding tied to certain words which are read cannot so freely be carried into diverse affections, as when it is free from this bond.

In putting out of unprofitable thoughts, great effort is to be used: It is oftentimes very profitable for a man to strive to expel his distracting thoughts; after the example of the patriarch Jacob, manfully to wrestle against them, persevering unto the end: after which fight, the victory being obtained, God does, for the most part, give greater devotion, or more pure contemplation or some other supernatural gift, which he never denies to those who faithfully fight in his cause. 

Note: If you would like to read the complete work, please click here and purchase Finding God through Meditation, by St. Peter of Alcantara, through the EWTN Religious Catalogue and support the worldwide efforts of EWTN.

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