Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Prayer and action…

Now prayer—the life of prayer—maintains, stimulates, quickens and perfects those feelings of faith, humility, trust, and love which together constitute the best predisposition of the soul to receive an abundance of divine grace. A soul to whom prayer is a familiar thing profits more from the sacraments and other means of salvation than does another in whom prayer, intermittent prayer, is disconnected and without vigour. A soul that is not faithfully devoted to praying can recite the Divine Office, assist at Holy Mass, receive the sacraments, hear the word of God, but its progress will often be mediocre. Why is that? Because the principle author of our perfection and of our holiness is God himself, and prayer keeps the soul in frequent contact with God; it establishes, and having established keeps going, a fire-hearth in the soul, as it were—one where, even if it is not in action all the time, love’s fire is all the time smouldering, at least. And as soon as that soul is put into direct communication with the Divine life (for instance in the sacraments) this is like a strong breath of air that sets the soul ablaze, stirs it up, fills it with a marvellous superabundance. A soul’s supernatural life is measured by its union with God through Christ in faith and love. This love has to produce acts: but those acts, if they are to be produced in a regular and intense way, require a life of prayer: It can be established that, so far as its ordinary paths are concerned, progression forward in our love of God depends in practice on our life of prayer.

Blessed Columba Marmion, with thanks to Little Portion Hermitage

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