PRAYER: How and Why Short Prayers Pierce Heaven

How and Why Short Prayers Pierce Heaven

From The Cloud of Unknowing

Why does this little prayer of one syllable (such as, “Lord!” or “Father!” or “Jesus!”) pierce the heavens?  Surely because it is offered with a full spirit, in the height and the depth, in the length and the breadth of the spirit of him who prays.

In the height: that is with the full might of the spirit; in the depth: for in this little syllable all the faculties of the spirit are contained; in the length: because if it could always be experienced as it is in that moment, it would cry as it does then; in the breadth: because it desires for all others all that it desires for itself.

It is in this moment that the soul comprehends with all the saints what is the length and the breadth, the height and the depth of the everlasting, all-loving, almighty and all-wise God, as Saint Paul teaches; not fully, but in some way and to some degree, as is proper to this work.

The eternity of God is his length; his love is his breadth; his power is his height, and his wisdom is his depth.  No wonder, then, that the soul which is so nearly conformed by grace to the image and likeness of God his maker is immediately heard by God.

Yes, and even if it were a very sinful soul, one which is, as it were, God’s enemy as long as it should come, through grace, to cry out with such a little syllable from the height and the depth, the length and the breadth of it spirit, it would always be heard and helped by God in the very vehemence of its shriek.

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  1. PRAYER: How and Why Short Prayers Pierce Heaven, from The Cloud of Unknowing | The Road

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