RETURN TO YOUR HEART
That place where God dwells in me is also the place of prayer. Long before I am aware of it or before I take an interest in it, this prayer is going on ceaselessly within me. In effect, it is not I who give myself to prayer, but the Holy Spirit who never ceases to pray in me with inarticulate groans, as St Paul says in his letter to the Romans (cf Rom. 8:26). This prayer is my heart's treasure. It is a hidden treasure which is buried in the deepest part of my being, access to which is presently obstructed by a host of realities which distract me from prayer. These tend to keep me at a superficial level of my being. Until my heart is truly detached I cannot cope with these temptations without losing contact with the fire smouldering within me.
It is important to insist on this: right from the beginning, prayer has already begun before I do anything -- it comes before any of my efforts and techniques. From the moment when I received the life of God in baptism, prayer has been poured into my heart along with the Holy Spirit who was then given to me (Rom 5:5). Prayer is there; it abides there. The Holy Spirit in person intercedes there for me and for all the saints. It is he who celebrates an unceasing liturgy, who makes the voice of Christ my voice, who lifts me up before God, and who, even when I do not know it, captivates the heart of God on behalf of the Church, the world and that sinner who I am. “To live in a state of grace” means that at a deep level I live in a state of prayer. At the beginning this prayer is entirely unconscious so all my efforts will consist in letting the prayer flow out and spill over into my consciousness. Nothing more than that. From being unconscious, thus prayer must become conscious, I must allow it take me over from within, so that I can become united with it, and take direction of it, while allowing myself to be borne up by it.