The Primacy of God’s Action in Daily, Intimate Prayer

We have discussed the most important aspect, which is our personal
disposition to daily, intimate prayer (spending at least 15 minutes in love
with God each and ever day beyond anything else we are now doing in our
spiritual life).  This disposition means a sincere desire on our part to be
with God in a loving embrace for this period of time….an unshakeable
commitment to persevere despite all obstacles!  Now, the second key
principle after firmly committing to this exercise of love each day is to
recognize that it is God’s action in us that is the purpose for the time
spent, and not our feelings about how well we are “doing this prayer” or how
we should be doing this prayer.  There is a framework, but no more.  God’s
action in you as a unique, unrepeatable child of His, whom He has created in
love, is the reality of why we cooperate with Him in love and express our
love for Him through daily, intimate prayer!

As Father Jacques Philippe teaches us: “What matters in mental prayer is
not so much what we do, as what God does in us.  It is enormously liberating
to know this, for sometimes we can do nothing at all in mental prayer.
Really though, it doesn’t matter much, because even if we can’t do anything,
God can. In fact, He is always acting in the depths of our soul, even if we
don’t realize it. The essential act of prayer, after all, is to put oneself
in God’s presence and stay there….If our prayer consists of nothing more
than that…but with a heartfelt attitude of availability and trusting
abandonment…then we could not do any better.”

Father Jacques helps us to see that it is normal, in fact it will happen to
almost all who commit to daily, intimate prayer, that you will be tempted to
frustration and even bewilderment about why am I wasting my time doing
nothing but sitting here!  Here he gives us an incredibly important
teaching: “We should not measure the value of our mental prayer by how much
we do during the  time allotted to it, thinking it good and profitable to
say and think many good things, and getting upset if we haven’t been able to
do anything.  The prayer may have indeed been VERY POOR, and yet God may
have worked wonders secretly in one’s soul during that time, doing things
whose fruits will only become apparent much later. The cause of the immense
riches arising from prayer is not our thoughts and actions, but the action
of God in our hearts. Only in the Kingdom of Heaven will we see many of
prayer’s fruits.” (emphasis added)

We know that our Mother is the one who best prayed, pondered and loved God
in silence and and since she so desires to share with us what she has, we
beg her through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Grace of the Flame of
Love of her Immaculate Heart to grant us this Grace of daily, intimate
prayer, so we persevere each day for at least 15 minutes knowing it is God’s
action within us that is the primary reality of this exercise of trusting
abandonment in prayer.  He will do the work and move us along the spiritual
path He has chosen for us, if we but have Faith and Trust in Love!  Let us
recall that St. Therese used to fall asleep in her mental prayer, but always
persevered because she knew: “Love draws profit from everything, good and
bad alike…I think how little children please their parents just as much as
when they are asleep as when they are awake…The Lord sees our weaknesses,
He remembers that we are but dust.”

Rejoice!  Rejoice knowing that God loves us so much that by just
recognizing that we can NOT do this without Him, causes Him to give us even
more Grace to please Him in mental prayer!  Everything is Grace…if we but
Love!  He takes the tiny speck of love we bring in perseverance, and
blossoms it into an explosion of Grace in our souls…the invisible reality
that all Heaven sees when Love is loved!  Let us give the speck until our
last breath in Love!

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2 Responses to The Primacy of God’s Action in Daily, Intimate Prayer

  1. tomlirish says:

    Very nice reflection.


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