Prayer – Thirtieth Day of September
“We ought always to pray.” — St. Luke 18.1.
The most sublime and the most perfect prayer is contemplation. But this kind of prayer is entirely the work of God; being supernatural, it is far above our capacity. All that the soul can do in regard to contemplation is to dispose itself for it — that is, to have deep sentiments of humility; to endeavor to acquire all the virtues, particularly fraternal charity and the love of God; to be resolved to do in all things the will of God; to walk in the way of the cross; to die to self-love, which consists more in desiring that which satisfies ourselves than in pleasing God. — St. Teresa.
This saint practiced this means of sanctification. This is why Our Lord raised her to so high a degree of contemplation, and lavished upon her gifts so rare.
It was asked of St. Antony how he could pass whole nights in prayer. He replied: “I never knew in what true contemplation consisted as long as I sought myself. But when I had purified my mind of all thoughts capable of disquieting me, and had rooted from my heart all terrestrial affection, I commenced to taste that admirable fruit of the will of God that pure souls are accustomed to taste in contemplation.”
A person very enlightened in the ways of God said: “I have learned by my own experience that to study mystical theology we must study the crucifix more than books; that is to say, we must study to practice virtue, to imitate Jesus Christ, to lead a pure life, to pray with fervor, to do faithfully and suffer constantly what God requires of us, by dying to ourselves. This is the book we must apply ourselves to read.”
O my Saviour, I will, after Thy example, humble myself without ceasing, practice virtue, exercise acts of mercy, rejoice in the accomplishment of Thy will, carry my cross after Thee, never seek to satisfy myself, and have no desire but to please Thee. Let me be always united to Thee.