The greatest evil is, that without mental prayer we do not pray at all. I have spoken frequently in my spiritual works of the necessity of prayer, and more especially in a little volume entitled, On Prayer, the Great Means of Salvation and Perfection; and here also I will say a few other things. It will be sufficient, then, to quote the opinion of the Venerable Palafox, Bishop of Osma: “How can charity last, unless God grants us perseverance? How will the Lord grant us perseverance unless we ask it of Him? And how shall we ask it of Him except by prayer?
The Eternal Father was not content with giving us His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us by His death, He has given us also the Holy Ghost to dwell always in our souls and keep them inflamed with His holy love. Hence, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, He appeared in the form of tongues of fire. This is the holy fire that inflamed the Saints with the desire to do great things for God, that enabled them to love their most cruel enemies, to seek after contempt, to renounce all the riches and honours of the world, and even to embrace torments and death.
It results from the practice of prayer that a person constantly thinks of God. “The true lover,” says St. Teresa, “is ever mindful of the beloved One. And hence it follows that persons of prayer are always speak¬of God, knowing, as they do, how pleasing it is to God that His lovers should delight in conversing about Him, and on the love He bears them, and that thus they should endeavour to enkindle it in others.” The same Saint wrote: “Jesus Christ is always present at the conversations of the servants of God, and He is very much gratified to be the subject of their delight.”
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