“Aspiration, practiced as a familiar, respectful and loving conversation with God, is such an excellent method, that, by means of it, one soon arrives at the summit of all perfection, and falls in love with Love.” – John of Saint-Samson
An Advent Prayer
The Carmelite Rule of St. Albert urges us ponder the law of the Lord day and night. We cannot always meditate, think about, or remember God, but we can always love God. Remembering God and conversing with Him lovingly throughout your day is called practicing the presence of God. This practice can help nurture and sustain a loving affection for God amidst your daily activities. Traditionally, prayers of aspiration were practiced along with the practice of the presence of God.
How to Pray
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.
To practice prayers of aspiration during your daily activities, occasionally remember our creator and offer a little prayer, like, “Lord, you are so good,” or better yet, a simple regard for God and a loving sigh for Him. Praying aspirations may be laborious in the beginning, but with practice they can become easy and delightful, even habitual, like breathing love for God. John of Saint-Samson compared aspirative prayer to a dog laying at the feet of its master, whimpering for attention. John died praying simply the names of God in Hebrew, Elohim and Yahweh, meekly whimpering with love for his Master.
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.