Prayer – Fifth Day of September
“We ought always to pray.” — St. Luke 18.1.
A man of prayer is capable of doing all things. For this reason it is of importance that missionaries should especially love this exercise, without which they will gather little or no fruit. With its help they will more readily soften hearts and gain souls to their Creator than if they were learned in human science or had the gift of oratory. — St. Vincent de Paul.
St. Francis Borgia was truly a man of prayer. After hours passed in prayer, he felt as if he had but spent a few moments with God. When he went into the pulpit to speak the divine word, many among his audience were seen to weep; others carried with them from the holy temple sentiments of true penance.
Ven. Louis of Grenada, at the end of a fervent prayer and meditation on the Passion of Jesus Christ, determined to preach on this great subject, as it was Good Friday. He took for his text these words: The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Hardly had he pronounced these words than tears fell in such abundance from his eyes that he could do no more than repeat two or three times over the same words, in a voice choking with sobs. There never was a shorter sermon, never a more efficacious one. Tears fell from the audience, accompanied by the fruit of sincere repentance.
St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure acknowledged that it was in the exercise of prayer more than in the reading of books they had found that sublime knowledge for which one merited the title of Angelic Doctor, the other Seraphic Doctor. Whenever St. Thomas desired to discover the meaning of a difficult text which he did not understand, he betook himself to prayer, and soon he was enlightened upon that which he sought.
O my God, look upon my misery and have pity on me. My mind is in darkness; my heart is cold; I am weak. But I will teach myself to pray, and Thou wilt enlighten me, Thou wilt fortify me.