“We ought always to pray.” — St. Luke 18.1.
Those souls who are not solidly established in piety walk bravely and are content when Our Lord give them consolations during prayer; but if He deprives them of these, they are discontented — like little children who thank their mother when she gives them sweets, and cry when she takes them away, not knowing they are dangerous when taken in large quantities. Sensible consolations engender complacency. This complacency give birth to pride, which is the poison of the soul and corrupts every good work. Our Saviour lavishes spiritual consolations when we enter the way of piety, in order to attract us to Him; afterwards He deprives us of them to try us and lest they might become hurtful to us. Ought we not thank Him as well when He takes them as when He gives them to us? — St. Francis of Sales.
A great servant of God he said had been faithful for forty years in praying without any interior consolation; nevertheless, this exercise had been very salutary for him. “I rejoice and I thank God,” he said, “that I have served Him in a manner at my own expense.”
St. John Berchmans experienced at times, while in prayer, inexpressible sweetness; but he had also days on which his soul was plunged in greatest dryness. He never lost courage nor disquieted himself when in this state.
My God, treat me whilst in prayer, not according to my natural inclination, but according to my needs. Show Thyself to me, hide Thyself, or reproach me, or say Thou lovest me; it is all the same. It is not sweetness I seek; it is the accomplishment of Thy will and Thy love I desire.