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Little and little, the soul in prayer quits discoursing

From Sancta Sophia

Now when by means of such exercises the soul is become well eased from remorse and begins to be moved to the resistance and hatred of sin by the love of God rather than fear of his judgments, her discursive prayer for all that does not cease, but there is a change made only in the objects of it, because instead of the consideration of judgment, Hell etc [sic] the soul finds herself more inclined to resist sin by the motives of love, or a consideration of the charity, patience and sufferings of Our Lord, as likewise out of a comfortable meditation on the future joys promised and prepared for her.… In the second place, when a soul by perseverance in such discursive prayer comes to find (as in time she will) that she stands in less need of inventing motives to induce her to exercise love of God, because good affections by exercise abounding and growing ripe, do with facility move themselves so near, the mere presenting of a good object to the soul suffices to make her produce a good affection. Therefore by little and little, the soul in prayer quits discoursing and the will immediately stirs itself toward God. — from Sancta Sophia, by Augustine Baker OSB.


Augustine (David) Baker was an English mystic and Benedictine monk who wrote extensively about spiritual matters pertaining to the Catholic Church in the period immediately after the English Revolt started by King Henry VIII. Among those whom he guided spiritually included Sister Gertrude (Helen) More OSB, foundress of Stanbrook Abbey, Cambrai, France. His works were collected in a single volume, Sancta Sophia, from which the above reflection on prayer is taken.

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Now when by means of such exercises the soul is become well eased from remorse and begins to be moved to the resistance and hatred of sin by the love of God rather than fear of his judgments, her discursive prayer for all that does not cease, but there is a change made only in the objects of it, because instead of the consideration of judgment, Hell etc [sic] the soul finds herself more inclined to resist sin by the motives of love, or a consideration of the charity, patience and sufferings of Our Lord, as likewise out of a comfortable meditation on the future joys promised and prepared for her.… In the second place, when a soul by perseverance in such discursive prayer comes to find (as in time she will) that she stands in less need of inventing motives to induce her to exercise love of God, because good affections by exercise abounding and growing ripe, do with facility move themselves so near, the mere presenting of a good object to the soul suffices to make her produce a good affection. Therefore by little and little, the soul in prayer quits discoursing and the will immediately stirs itself toward God. — from Sancta Sophia, by Augustine Baker OSB.


Augustine (David) Baker was an English mystic and Benedictine monk who wrote extensively about spiritual matters pertaining to the Catholic Church in the period immediately after the English Revolt started by King Henry VIII. Among those whom he guided spiritually included Sister Gertrude (Helen) More OSB, foundress of Stanbrook Abbey, Cambrai, France. His works were collected in a single volume, Sancta Sophia, from which the above reflection on prayer is taken.

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