A Talk About Prayer* (Part 9)
This method of prayer may be applied to the Hail Mary, and, indeed, to any other prayer, though no prayer will be found to contain so much as this divine prayer of Our Lord.
The Lord's Prayer, used in this manner, may also be applied to any subject that you may take up for meditation; as, if the meditation is on any particular virtue, this prayer may be made to refer to that virtue; if on the nativity, our Father, King, and Spouse may be represented as present in our souls as an infant, while we use the different petitions, as above pointed out.
If the subject be the Passion, then we may represent Our Lord present to our souls as suffering and abandoned by all, and so on.
A few words about the ordinary method of meditation. Though it is best for those who are accustomed to meditate according to the usual formal method to stick to the subject they have chosen, yet great latitude should be allowed one's self as to the way of developing the points, and full liberty also to stop upon any point, or to dwell upon any affection that may arise, as long as the soul is drawn to do so, or finds any satisfaction in it, so that, if, during the whole time of meditation, you do not advance beyond the first point, the object of the meditation will be gained; for the consideration of the subject and the reasoning over the points are designed to rouse affections and movements of the will towards God, and when that happens, it would be a mistake to smother these ascensions of the heart and will toward God, in order to go on and begin to reason upon another point. Indeed, if the soul is thus roused at the commencement when the picture of the mystery is proposed to the imagination, she should stop there, until her affections begin to flag, when she can go on further. You need have no fear of being unfaithful by following this rule...
* From Spencer's "The Little Grain of Wheat."
From "Prayer-Book for Religious"
by Rev. F.X. Lasance
Copyright 1904, 1914