On prayer, and meditation on the Life and Passion of Jesus

September 27, 2021 • 3 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 46
By St. Francis de Sales


The Necessity of Prayer.

Prayer places our mind in the brightness and light of God, and exposes our will to the heat of heavenly love.

There is nothing that so effectually frees our understanding from its ignorance, or our will from its depraved affections, as prayer.

It is the water of benediction which causes the plants of our good desires to grow green and flourish. It cleanses our souls from their imperfections, and quenches the thirst of passion in our hearts.

But, above all, I recommend to you mental and heartfelt prayer, and particularly that which has the life and passion of our Lord for its object.

By making Him the frequent subject of your meditation, your whole soul will be replenished with Him; you shall learn his carriage, and you will conform your interior and exterior conduct to his.

As He is the light of the world, it is then in Him, by Him, and for Him, that we ought to acquire lustre, and become enlightened. He is the tree of desire, under whose shadow we ought to refresh ourselves. He is the living fountain of Jacob, in which we may wash away all our stains.

In fine, as little children, by hearing their mothers talk, lisp at first, and learn at length to speak their language; so we, by keeping close to our Saviour by meditation, and observing his words, actions, and affections, shall, by the help of his grace, learn to speak, to act, and to will like Him.

Here we must stop, Philothea, as we cannot find access to God the Father but through this gate; for as the glass of a mirror could never stop our view if its back were not tinned or leaded, so we could never contemplate the Divinity in this world had we not been united to the sacred humanity of our Saviour, whose life and death is the most fit, delightful, sweet, and profitable object we can choose for our ordinary meditation.

It is not without reason that our Saviour called Himself the bread that came down from heaven, for, as bread ought to be eaten with all sorts of meat, so our Saviour ought to be the subject of our meditation, consideration, and imitation in all our prayers and actions.

His life, passion, and death have been, for this purpose, arranged into distinct points by several authors: those whom I recommend to you are St. Bonaventure, Bellitani, Bruno, Capiglia, Grenada, and Dupont.

Latest book snippets

Search | Random | 909 total | 50h 1m