CLOSE THE DOOR
We can see now where the difficulty lies in prayer. It is not in lack of time or physical conditions. It lies in this: we rarely descend to the bottom of our heart and remain there. In other words, we are seldom ourselves.
We pray badly because we are not ourselves, and we are not ourselves because we do not know how to be silent. The condition for all prayer, as for the act of freedom that it demands is SILENCE. We need to rediscover this fundamental truth.
The silence we speak of is not only the silence of the lips or body. We need to free ourselves from the interior "motives" that continue to play themselves in our interior. We need to struggle for silence of the heart.
Conquest of the interior powers, refusal of distractions, these are two aspects of natural asceticism which make us accept the silence necessary for being oneself at prayer.
While the heart remains sluggish - now too light, now too heavy - resemble the broken cisterns of which Jeremiah spoke, letting water escape on all sides. In this condition.
We cannot live in peaceful, continuous prayer. Lacking silence, prayer is impossible.
Even in our room we are outside ourselves.