We have set the stage through Father Jacques Philippe’s great help in his classic “Time for God” on the critical importance of Intimate Prayer (also known as Mental Prayer) every single day, otherwise we remain stuck in the Journey to Union with God. There are two great impediments: never starting….and starting and giving up. We will now address the second impediment. We start Intimate Prayer and realize how sinful we really are, and thus we try to rationalize that we are hypocrites for praying this way (since we have little chance of changing or persevering and only holy people should or can pray this way). Here is what the great Doctor of the Church, St. Theresa of Avila, had to say on this exact point: ” I stress this, so that none who have begun to do mental prayer should stop with the excuse that ‘if I am falling back into sin and still continue to pray, it will be even worse.’ I think it will be worse if they abandoned their mental prayer and did not correct their sin; but if they do not abandon mental prayer, let them believe that this prayer will lead them to the harbor of light. The devil waged such a combat against me with that purpose, and I believed for so long that to do mental prayer was a lack of humility when I was so wicked, that as I said, I stopped doing it for a year and a half…and that would have been enough, and was enough, for me to throw my own self into hell with no need for any devil to drag me down there. Oh God, what blindness! And how right the devil was, in aiming for his goal, to concentrate his forces on this point. He knows…that whoever perseveres in mental prayer is lost to him, and that all the falls he may cause them only help them, through God’s goodness, TO SPRING BACK EVEN HIGHER IN GOD’S SERVICE…”
So, we see the absolute importance of staying with Intimate Prayer if we love God, but let us also recognize that this means giving all, at least initially to have that firm intention, despite our many weaknesses, bad habits and love of comfort. Father Jacques reminds us: “We are deluding ourselves in aiming to make progress in mental prayer if our whole life is not marked by a deep, sincere desire to give ourselves totally to God, to make our lives conform to His Will as fully as possible….God only gives Himself to us (which is THE Goal of mental prayer) if we give ourselves totally to Him…If we keep a sealed-off compartment in our lives that we don’t want to abandon to God—a fault for example, even… one we consent to deliberately and do nothing to correct (shopping on Sunday)…or a refusal to forgive someone—it will make our life of prayer unfruitful.”
We must recognize that God will slowly but surely give us the Grace and strength to change those things we have not yet been able to change about ourselves, BUT ONLY IF we are willing to give Him everything. Many, too many, people of goodwill stall because they are unwilling to completely forgive all those who have hurt them in any way. Only God can give us this ability, but we must ask, we must beg for this Grace! Lord, heal me of everything that holds me back from moving toward you faster and more certainly than ever before, especially let me truly forgive from heart all who have hurt me in any way! THIS IS PRECISELY WHY GOD HAS GIVEN THE FLAME OF LOVE GRACE! He so desires that we now are able to accelerate our journey to union, our call to holiness that He has given this “Greatest Grace” exactly for this purpose, to finally allow us to overcome those things we absolutely have not and cannot overcome in our daily lives without this very special Grace!
I have seen extraordinary changes in my own life in a very short period of time by taking and corresponding to this Grace! I beg you to allow God to prove to you the power of this Grace by taking Him at His Word! His Mother will take you as her most special child, on her lap and under her mantle, if you but trust and believe! She will rear you as she reared Jesus! It is true! It is beyond comprehension, but it is true! Please read and pray with “My Ideal: Jesus Son of Mary” if you still have any doubt about this greatest SPIRITUAL REALITY! Spend some time at www.flameoflove.us refreshing your memory on what God is now begging you to embrace for His Glory, the salvation of souls and your Eternal Beatitude! Your place in Heaven for all eternity will be much higher, because you choose this Grace and thus denied yourself and persevered in Intimate Prayer, as Mary and Jesus did for the Glory of the Father!