Lord my heart is not proud, nor my eyes lofty. I do not concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. But I have stilled and quieted myself just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me. O my people put your hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever. Psalm 131
Recollection is the process of separating ourselves from internal and external bombardments and bringing spirit, soul and body into a unified whole with the Spirit of God. There are 3 basic steps to this process. The first step is this separation from internal and external noises and coming to a place of quietness of spirit and soul. Recollection is to the spirit and soul what fasting is to the body. During a fast the digestive functions stop and the body is able to remove toxins and bring deeper cleaning and healing to our physical bodies. Thus recollection is separating our spirits from other loves and attachments, and separating our souls from emotional disquiet and separating our bodies from external noise and information. Combining these together at one time – spirit, soul and bodily fasting would be a most powerful combination to recollection and begin again to walk the narrow path that leads to abundant life.
The second step in recollection is to stop the self-effort and admit our total inability to make things right in our own strength. First we come away from the external and internal bombardments; second realize our weakness and inability. Our difficulty in dying to self is that all self-effort to die only strengthens the very thing we want to kill. This is only a work that God can do. As long as these internal battles rage, where we try harder and harder to do and be what we are unable to accomplish, the more frustrated and disquieted we become. Instead of inner struggles the soul sees itself for what it is and agree with Romans 7:18 “for I know that in me that is my flesh nothing good dwells.” Also verse 24 “O wretched man that I am!”
Finally the best part, the third step, which is quiet resting in God. Psalms 131:3 says “O my people hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever.” This is the practicing of the presence of God, the realization that Christ in you is truly your only hope of glory. No longer is the soul sensitive, that is easily disturbed and upset, neither is it cautious and timid. But it simply is ready to obey all the time. Less and less will we revert to walking in the flesh. Quickly return to that state of a quieted rested soul even moments after sinning. A child who stumbles and falls will immediately find comfort in the arms of its mother. This is the simplicity of the child-like faith. I am small, I am weak, I am hurting – Daddy pick me up, hold me close, clean me up, love on me. Be glad to be still, to be recollected, to endure all things without your soul being disturbed. Let us let go of ruling your our own life, let’s quit making decisions from our own reasoning. Let’s get into the river and let Him take us where he wills. Trusting that whatever comes into your day is the providence, that is the plan of God. Quickly yielding to these stirrings is what advances the soul the most.
Jim Goll in his workbook “Consecrated Contemplative Prayer” states that recollection “means to bring together into a unified whole. It is allowing the Holy spirit to cast light upon our fragmentation so as to bring cleansing and healing into our souls (emotions, remembrances, and thoughts)” p. 46
“All the scattered interests of the self have here to be collected; there must be a deliberate and unnatural act of attention, a deliberate expelling of all discordant images from the consciousness…if needs a stern determination, a willful choice, if we are to succeed in concentrating our attention upon the whispered messages from within, undistracted by the loud voices which besiege us from without.” And “It knows that it wants to enter the inner would, that interior palace where the King of Kings is guest but it must find some device to help it over the threshold. This device is as a rule the practice of meditation, in which the state of Recollection usually begins: that is to say, the deliberate consideration of and dwelling upon some one aspect of Reality.” Evelyn Underhill Mysticism p. 313-314
“Yield entirely to God your mood, your own will, your sensitiveness, your anxiety, your self-concern, as well as the over- enthusiasm, the haste, the foolish joy and other emotions which make conflicts for you according to whether the things which you have to do are agreeable or inconvenient.” Francois Fenelon
“In introversion we turn our minds and spirits away from occupation with the outer world; in fasting we turn our bodies away from the world. It simply is an actuality that persons who have seriously entered upon the spiritual way find that a period of fasting is a great aid to them. It clears the mind and heart; it opens avenues of realization and thought which before were closed. Somehow as the body and mind both give up the expectation of business as usual, it becomes easier to enter into the reality which is not physical.” Morton Kelsey Encounter with God p.180,184-185