Prayer – Seventh Day of September
“We ought always to pray.” — St. Luke 18.1.
Mental prayer consists in well understanding what we say, considering Who it is to Whom we speak, and what we are who dare to speak to a God Who is so great. It is still more: it is to entertain ourselves with God as a friend with his friend, knowing that He loves us; and making the many reflections in our mind that this thought should produce — this to my mind is mental prayer. — St. Teresa.
St. Ignatius was travelling with several of his companions. Each one carried a small bag containing some necessaries with him. A good Christian, thinking they were fatigued, offered to assist them, begging them to accept his services as a favor to himself. They at last consented. When they had arrived at the place in which they were to pass the night, this man, seeing the good Fathers kneel down to pray, did the same, and remained kneeling during all the time the others prayed. When the time fixed for this exercise was ended, they arose from their knees. They perceived that the man arose also. “What have you done all this time?” they asked him. His reply edified them greatly. “I have done only this,” he said; “I have said: ‘Lord, these men who pray so devoutly are saints, and I am only their beast of burden. My intention is the same as theirs; what they say to Thee I also say.’” This was his prayer, during the whole of the journey. Through this means he rose to a sublime degree of prayer.
My God, how can one have faith or love Thee, and not find his delight in the holy exercise of prayer? What so sweet as to humble one’s self before God, to address Him, to listen to His voice, to converse as a friend with a friend, as a child with a tender father?