I am gaining all kinds of fresh insight into St. Thérèse of Lisieux here on retreat at the Canossian Spirituality Center in Albuquerque with the good Br. Joseph F. Schmidt, FSC.
One thing he points out is that in the newest edition of the Catechism, Thérèse's definition of prayer has supplanted--not replaced, but supplanted--the old definition--"Prayer is the lifting up of our minds and hearts to God"--in the Baltimore Catechism.
Lifting, he observes, implies effort and exertion and is an action that we perform ourselves and as such, is more or less a masculine way of looking at prayer. Whereas a surge of heart is something that takes place within us and as such is a much more feminine way of looking at prayer. Here's St.Thérèse's version:
"What is Prayer?
For me, prayer is a surge of the heart;
It is a simple look turned toward heaven,
It is a cry of recognition and lof love,
Embracing both trial and joy."
Also notable is that nowhere in the definition does the word "God" or "Christ" appear, the operative point being that everyone is invited, you don't need to have a degree in theology, and in fact you don't even have to believe in God...
|ailanthus aka "tree of heaven"|