Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Book 1: Meditation, Prayer, and the Particular Examen, 8/01

For What and for Whom We Should Pray (Part 2)

(Continued from yesterday) Father Girardey, dwelling on the subject of prayer, writes:
"Let us not be so solicitous for temporal favors, which, after all, may, as we have seen, prove hurtful to our soul, but let us rather pray for what is conducive to our eternal welfare. When we pray for temporals, and God, in His mercy, refuses them to us, it is because they would prove hurtful to us.

'But,' says St. Gregory of Nazianzen, 'he who asks God for a real favor (that is, for a favor that is necessary or useful for his salvation), obtains it, for God is bountiful and generous, and readily bestows His gifts.'

'When you pray,' says St. Ambrose, 'ask for great things; ask not for what is transitory, but for what is eternal.'

'We should pray,' says St. Augustine, 'in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ. When, however, we pray for what is injurious to our soul, we do not pray in the name of Our Redeemer. In praying for temporals we should be moderate and timid, asking God to give them to us provided they are really beneficial, and to withhold them if they should prove hurtful. Many, when they pray, invoke God, but not as God, for the object of their prayer is opposed to His glory and favorable to their passions. They seem to consider God as a mere servant of themselves and of their passions, such as pride, covetousness, and lust. Let us pray, not for temporals, but for heavenly glory and the means of attaining it. The most precious and excellent of temporal things are but insignificant trifles in comparison to what is eternal.'
(continued tomorrow)

From "Prayer-Book for Religious"
by Rev. F.X. Lasance
Copyright 1904, 1914

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