Quotes & Themes – Prayer


If prayer is a colloquy, a discourse or a conversation of the soul with God, by it, then, we speak to God and He again speaks to us. [Treatise on the Love of God, Book 6, Chapter 1]

Prayer, according to most of the Fathers, is nothing other than a raising of the mind to heavenly things; others say it is a petition; but the two opinions are not at all opposed for while raising our mind to God, we can ask Him for what seems necessary. (Sermons on Prayer: The Goal of Prayer)

In prayer we approach God and place ourselves in His presence for two reasons: The first is to render to God the honor and praise we owe Him, and this can be done without His speaking to us or our speaking to Him. We can fulfil this duty by acknowledging that He is our God and we, His lowly creatures (cf. Ps. 95:6-7), and by remaining before Him, prostrate in spirit, awaiting His orders. … This aim we have in presenting ourselves before God simply to demonstrate and prove our willingness and gratitude to be in His service is excellent, very holy and very pure, and, therefore, a mark of great perfection. The second reason why we present ourselves before God is to speak to Him and to hear Him speak to us through inspirations and the inner stirrings of our heart. Ordinarily, we take great delight in doing this because it is very beneficial for us to speak to such a great Lord; and when He answers us, He pours out much balm and precious ointment, and in this way fills our soul with tremendous consolation. [Letter to Mademoiselle de Soulfour]

When you come before the Lord, talk to Him if you can; if you can’t, just stay there, let yourself be seen, and don’t try to be too hard to do anything else. [Letter to Mademoiselle de Soulfour]

Prayer must be loved, but it must be loved for the love of God. (Letters to Persons in Religion, III, 44)

There is much to fear in exalted methods of prayer, but one can walk securely in the more common. (Letters to Persons in Religion, V, 6)

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