Recovering from an illness at her uncle’s house, at age 23, her Uncle Don Pedro asked her how she prayed. She told him frankly of her struggles…
He shook his head, ‘It is essential to pray and to pray much.’
‘I do pray,’ she said.
‘How do you pray? ‘
‘The only thing that counts is prayer, by which I mean mental prayer, recollection.’
He went to the bookshelf.
‘Here is a treatise on recollection for you; the Third Spiritual Alphabet’.
She opened at random.
…Vocal prayer, as you have seen, is a petition we make to God to ask him for what is necessary for us….The second form of prayer, that is without pronouncing words on the lips, leaves us free so that our heart alone speaks to Our Lord… The third, which may be termed mental or spiritual prayer, is that which the highest point of the soul, sustained by love, soars upward to God in the purest and most loving way possible on the wings of desire…”
‘Take it, it’s yours,’ said Don Pedro.
And so began St. Teresa’s introduction to mental prayer and recollection.–Life