Prayer – Ninth Day of September
“We ought always to pray.” — St. Luke 18.1.
When in prayer we find ourselves touched with some holy affection, it is not the time to multiply reflections, but to stop, meditate, address one’s self to God in words of compunction, of love, of abandonment, according as the inclination may move us. This is the best kind of prayer. — St. Jane Frances.
St. Cyril shows by comparison how one should meditate. “How does one act who would strike a light? He takes a flint and strikes the stone with a steel until the fire ignites whatever he wishes it to fall upon. I like manner he who meditates ought by considerations and reasonings of the mind strike the stone of the heart until the love of God, desire of humility, mortification, and other virtues enter it. The heart being once inflamed, all that is necessary is to tend this divine fire.”
A servant of god, who generally meditated on the Passion of Jesus Christ, well understood this practice. He first represented to his mind Jesus suffering. As soon as he was touched by sentiments of love, gratitude, or sorrow for sin, or a desire to imitate his divine Model, he sought no further, but dwelt upon these pious thoughts. When growing cold, he made other reflections to animate them, as follows: “What terrible torments! Who is it that has endured them? It is the Son of God! The Son of God! For whom has He suffered thus? It is for me! For me! O charity! The Son of God has suffered to such an excess for me! What! For me — a vile nothing, a being so often rebellious? The Son of God has become for me a Man of sorrows, and I have no courage to suffer something for love of Him! After having suffered all that love could suffer, and for my salvation alone, I will not detest sin, I will even offend this God of love, and renew the sorrows of His passion! I crucify Him anew in my heart! Where is my gratitude? Where is my humanity? Have I a heart, have I faith? Ah, how I should blush and repent for having thus treated my God! No, I will not offend Him again. He has loved me so prodigiously, and I have not loved Him as much as I was capable of doing. O my God, I love Thee, I will always love Thee. Grant that I may love Thee as Thou deserves to be loved.” It is in this manner we should meditate, having the affections follow the reflections, reflecting only to produce holy affections.
My God, deign to inspire me during prayer with those reflections I ought to make, and with the resolutions I ought to form. Let it be Thy Holy Spirit Who will pray in me.