The “prayer of the heart” (also known as contemplative prayer or meditation) has an inherent simplicity. It is the prayer of silence, simplicity, contemplative and meditative unity – a deep personal integration in an attentive, watchful listening of “the heart”. The response such prayer calls forth is a wordless and total surrender of the heart in silence.  

     In “prayer of the heart” one should not look for a “method” or “system” – rather one ought to cultivate an “attitude”, an “outlook”: faith, openness, attention, reverence, expectation, supplication, trust, joy. All these finally permeate our being with love in so far as our living faith tells us we are in the presence of God, that we live in Christ, that in the Spirit of God we “see” God our Father without “seeing”. We know him in “unknowing”. Faith is the bond that unites us to him in the Spirit who give us light and love.  

     The “prayer of the heart”, then, introduces us into deep interior silence so that we learn to experience its power. For that reason the “prayer of the heart” has to be always very simple, confined to the simplest of acts and often making use of no words and no thoughts at all. 

Reference: Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer, 5, 10, 19. 



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