Gregory Fruehwirth writes, “The goal of the contemplative life is summed up in St. Paul’s exhortation to pray without ceasing. In the Middle Ages, this led to a monastic culture in which it was assumed that the more time spent in church chanting psalms the better. Some communities even tried to institute a twenty-four round of choral prayer so that what the individual could not accomplish the community could. But these efforts are aberrations, and they are based on a misunderstanding of prayer.
The Book of Common Prayer defines prayer as “responding to God, by thought or deeds, with or without words.” With this definition, unceasing prayer is wonderfully revealed as a state of unceasing responsiveness to God. Here we begin to glimpse a state of life possible for us, profound and beautiful. We realize too that in order for the whole energy and movement of our life to be a supple, joyful, immediate response to God, our hearts and minds need to be purified of all the selfishness, anxiety, drama… all the antagonism that makes us blind and deaf to God and unable to respond to the movement of God’s desire.”
“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” Jesus