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Prayer for those who dwell in a Monastery of the Heart

Loving God, You who dwell in our hearts,
make for us a cave there
in which to hear your voice more distinctly,
feel your care more tenderly,
understand your will more clearly,
and come to know your presence at every moment of our lives
with new clarity and new courage,
with new faith and new urgency.

Enable us to grow in the Benedictine spirit
in ways that make us compassionate co-creators of a world in process,
creative keepers of the human community,
loving listeners to the heartbeat of the world,
caring sisters and brothers to its wounded,
and bringers of peace to a world in distress.

Let us sink into your Word,
let us nourish it to life,
let it lead us beyond the burdens of the day
so that we may become the people you desire us to be.
Give us hearts where all may enter in,
ears to hear your call,
hands to do your will,
voices to sing your praise,
and soul enough to recognize You in everything we do.

This we ask through the intercession of all the faithful monastics who have gone before us
and through the grace of the living God.

— Joan Chittister
To read this, and other prayers by Joan Chittister, click here. And to create a free account on and become a member of this movement for contemporary monastic spirituality, click here.