John of Saint-Samson compares prayer to hunting with dogs. A hunting dog should should find the wounded prey, and not eat it itself, but bring it back to its master. Similarly, in prayer the intellect and imagination should be used to consider a mystery of faith, but prayer should not end with intellectual or imaginative speculations, instead insights should be handed over to the will to use to make aspirations to God and in-flame the heart with love.
An Advent Prayer
Aspirations are a simple regard for God, a sigh of desire for Him, an internal act of love that inflames the heart. They are an elevation of the heart to God and a settling gently back into oneself. Prayers of aspiration can take the form of a wordless sigh of love for God, or a short prayer that helps aspire the heart, like “Come, Lord Jesus,” “Lord, please help me,” “Please forgive me, Lord,” or “Thank you, Lord.” Don’t strain the mind or heart when making aspirations, they should be gentle and concise, and practiced with discretion and moderation.
How to Pray
The Rosary is a rich form of prayer, an inexhaustible treasure. To pray the Rosary with aspirations, let your imagination and intellect consider the particular mystery and the words of the prayers, dwell on any insights and hand them over to the will to use to make aspirations with the words of the prayers, praying for example, “Hail Mary,” as you adore her special place with the Apostles at Pentecost, or “Full of grace,” as you thank her for her gracious intercession, etc. As you practice praying the Rosary, you may become more able to use the intellect and imagination, and aspire your heart with the will, while routinely praying the words of the prayers.
A period of 15 to 20 minutes prayer of aspirations is adequate. After your prayer period has ended, sit for a minute or two before returning to your daily activities.
We encourage you to use the meditative music below to assist you in your Prayer of Aspiration.