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  • when purified and developed, it might be defined as the radical purpose of acting only for the love of God
  • connects us with the ground of being within us
  • leads to Purity of Heart
  • unites us with God
  • may still have unconscious motivation that needs purification 

  • OMOH: 146
  • *OMOH: 188
  • CLP: A/I, 11
  • IG: 57,97-99

Intention is the major factor in any contemplative prayer practice, but especially in Centering Prayer in which our only activity consists in maintaining our intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.

Related Concepts




Intention is the choice of the will about a goal or purpose. The intention to act for the love of God connects us with the ground of our being. The power of such an intention is immense.

By willing God and His will, our will enters into union with God, although this may not be consciously perceived. The insight of the desert Fathers and Mothers was that a pure intention leads to purity of heart, which is their term for humility and transformation.

When we make a particular intention and examine it closely, we may observe unconscious motivations surfacing. No matter how devout our actions may appear outwardly, we may secretly be looking for praise, or a host of other self-centered motivations driven by the emotional programs for happiness. This awareness is what the Christian tradition means by self-knowledge.


 Reflection: Listening

A pure intention in our actions leads to purity of heart.

Reflection: Reflecting

What is the underlying motivation of your intentions? Given a specific intention, what are its connected motives?

Reflection: Responding

Come to know and accept the origin of your intentions and mixed motivations. Ask God to take away your faults.