Recollection, as understood in respect to the spiritual life, means attention to the presence of God in the soul. It includes the withdrawal of the mind from external and earthly affairs in order to attend to [concentrate on] God and Divine things. It is the same as interior solitude in which the soul is alone with God.
More simply put, it is "...the practice of the presence of God, the frequent turning inward to adore Him, and the clinging to Him and His love". "It calls for considerable mental discipline to avoid dissipation of mind [distractions], but is required of all who aspire after Christian perfection." "Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter".
- Recollection in the spiritual sense has nothing to do with memory or remembering. Many of the words used by the saints or Church fathers had meanings different from the meranings we give the same words today. "Day of Recollection" is often used in the Church as a one-day retreat for quiet reflection and adoration. One meditates on God, or on something related to God, in order to live for a time in the presense of God.
- St Teresa of Avila holds that recollection is a prayer which is initiated by God, and not by the person. "It’s not about sitting in the dark or closing your eyes or being subject to any external things. The eyes close of their own accord and the soul simply desires solitude.. to enter the Prayer of Recollection we have to stop trying to think, and to just wait for God to bring us in".