Quote of the Day
excerpt from chapter 2 of How to Pray by Father Jean Nicolas Grou
The second end of prayer is to consider God in Himself, to adore His supreme Majesty, to contemplate His infinite perfections, to praise Him, to congratulate Him on being alone great, alone holy, alone All Powerful, the external, the immutable, independent Being; to rejoice with Him at His glory and His happiness, to love Him purely for Himself, to desire that all creatures should know Him, love Him, and obey Him; to esteem ourselves happy to be able to contribute in the smallest degree to His glory; to offer ourselves to the fulfillment of His adorable designs.
I will here remark that almost all those persons who limit themselves to vocal prayer, as a rule refer all their prayers to themselves; the more spiritual-minded Christians who make meditation, mostly apply the subject-matter to the amendment of their life, so that their reflections, have no other end but the avoiding sin, the correcting their faults and the acquiring virtues. It is interior souls that are the only ones who make God Himself the principal theme of their meditations, they being wholly devoted to His glory, His love and His adorable Will. This will not seem strange when we reflect that it is God who prays in them, who praises and glorifies Himself through them, and rightly understood, their prayer is the image, more of less perfect, of what He is continually doing in Himself.
The effect of all this should be to teach us how great need we have of being taught by God, and of frequenting the school of His grace, because in our prayers we refer all to ourselves, whereas we ought to refer all to God. Would that once for all we were convinced of a truth, which is no less evident than certain, to wit, that our interests are comprised in His interests; that in loving him we love ourselves; and that He is all the more mindful of us, the more we forget ourselves in order to think exclusively of Him!
Perhaps you say: “But if I do not think of myself, of my spiritual wants, of my salvation, who will think of them for me?” Can you, of yourself, have a thought of these things? Is it not God who puts good thoughts and holy desires into your heart? Does He never put thoughts in your mind that relate expressly to Himself? Why then do you not dwell on them, and why return always to yourself? Is it God, or rather is it not your own self-love that makes you leave Him to think of yourself? …
“My daughter,” said Jesus Christ one day to St. Catherine of Siena, “think of Me and I will think of thee.” He would say the same to each one of us, if we were in the dispositions of this Saint. And why are we not, or at least why do we not labour to acquire her dispositions?
Prayer of the Day
O my God! I plainly see I have not hitherto prayed as I ought; I have not known the great end of prayer. Rarely, perhaps even never, have I come into Thy presence with the sole intention of rendering Thee due homage; it is ever myself, and my needs of all descriptions that I lay at Thy feet. Deeply am I humbled at the imperfection of my prayers, and I beg Thee graciously to pardon me.
O Lord, purify, ennoble, raise my intentions to Thyself, never allow me to keep them fixed on myself. Pray Thyself in me, that my prayer be directed always to Thy glory. Should I in Thy presence have thoughts of anything but Thee? Is it not right that my nothingness should be lost in Thy immensity, and that the sight of my sins and imperfections should excite me to admire and praise Thy infinite holiness? Be Thou then master of my heart and mind in the time of prayer; employ them solely, or at least chiefly in adoring and loving Thee; and may the sentiments that enrapture Thy saints in heaven be frequently my occupation before Thy Altars. Amen.
[from chapter 2, How to Pray by Father Jean Nicolas Grou]