About short prayers, i.e. Invocations or Ejaculatory* Prayers

It would be well if every breath could be a loving sigh, and every moment be filled with the thought of God. If this can not be, form a habit of recollecting yourself from time to time; the more frequently the better. Let the striking of the hour be a signal for recalling the presence of God. Accustom yourself to the easy and frequent use of ejaculatory prayers. We need but to love in order to pray and to sigh for God. These outpourings of the heart proceed from the Holy Spirit; they are a language of love readily understood by this God of love. We naturally think of what we love; hence we can not say we love God if we rarely or never think of Him.

"Aspire to God," says St. Francis of Sales, "with short but frequent outpourings of the heart."

"As those who are influenced by human and natural love have their minds and hearts constantly fixed on the objects of their affections; as they speak often in their praise, and when absent lose no opportunity of expressing by letters this affection for them and can not even pass a tree without inscribing on the bark the name of their beloved; so those,who are possessed of divine love have their minds and hearts constantly turned toward the divine object of their love; they are ever thinking of Him, they long after Him; they aspire to Him, and frequently, speak of Him; and were it possible, would engrave in the hearts of all mankind the name of their beloved Jesus." [You will find Indulgenced Prayers at Enchiridion of Indulgences 1968. The short prayers approved and encouraged by the Church are certainly commendable.]

"It is an old Custom with the servants of God always to have some little prayers ready and to be darting them up to heaven frequently during the day, lifting their minds to God out of the filth of this world. He who adopts this plan will get great fruit with little pains." ST. PHILIP NERI.

Lasance, My Prayer Book, Benziger Brothers, 1908.
Imprimatur, John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York (1908).

"So, when you don't know how to go on, when it feels as if your fire is dying out and you can't throw fragrant logs on it, throw on the branches and twigs of short vocal prayers, of ejaculations, to keep feeding the blaze. And you will have used the time well." St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, Sinag-Tala Publishers (1994)p. 21.

"Ejaculatory prayers do not hinder your work, just as the beating of your heart does not impede the movements of the body." St. Josemaría Escrivá.
"In dryness persevere in prayer and make use of ejaculatory prayers, especially acts of resignation to the Will of God." Paul of the Cross.
See Chapter 13, of the Introduction to the Devout Life on short prayer, by St. Francis de Sales.
" As a student at the Jesuit College of Clermont in Paris, when he was about eighteen or nineteen years old, [St. Francis de Sales] suffered from severe depression that cast a long and distressing shadow over his student life for about six weeks and almost led him to despair of his salvation. 
St. Jane de Chantal, his closest friend, tells us in her testimony at the first process of his canonization that during this struggle or trial, he was not able to sleep or eat. This is how strongly it affected him.
To deal with this struggle, Francis resorted to spiritual aspirations or ejaculatory prayers drawn principally from the Psalms, which we are told, he wrote down from memory, in order to calm his fears and, "so to speak, pierce the heart of God..." FROM DESPAIR TO HOPE: ONE STUDENT'S STRUGGLE WITH TRUTH.

Speaking of students, St. Vincent Ferrer wrote: "Interrupt your application [study] by short but fervent and ejaculatory prayers; never begin or end your study but by prayer. Science is a gift of the Father of lights; do not therefore consider it as barely the work of your own mind or industry." 

*"Ejaculation" here means: "A sudden, short exclamation, especially a brief, pious utterance or prayer." American Heritage Dictionary.

This material is presented for religious and educational purposes only. No other use is intended or permitted. The quote from the Way and the dictionary are used in reliance on 17 USC 107.
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