Learn to Pray: Prayer Highway 23 June 2020
Today a quotation of a remarkable saint: Saint Catherine of Siena. She explains that not all kind of prayer is equally effective or beneficial. The purpose of prayer is that love flourishes and abounds.
Listen to the words of the saint. Please read it more than once. If you want I can send you a pdf booklet with more of her teaching. Thanks to Alessandra! (The Dialogue of Saint Catherine of Siena, page 68)
But do not think that the soul receives such ardor and nourishment from prayer, if she pray only vocally, as do many souls whose prayers are rather words than love.
Such as these give heed to nothing except to completing Psalms and saying many paternosters. And when they have once completed their appointed tale, they do not appear to think of anything further, but seem to place devout attention and love in merely vocal recitation, which the soul is not required to do, for, in doing only this,
she bears but little fruit, which pleases Me but little. But if you ask Me, whether the soul should abandon vocal prayer, since it does not seem to all that they are called to mental prayer, I should reply 'No.' The soul should advance by degrees, and I know well that, just as the soul is at first imperfect and afterwards perfect, so also is it with her prayer. She should nevertheless continue in vocal prayer, while she is yet imperfect, so as not to fall into idleness. But she should not say her vocal prayers without joining them to mental prayer, that is to say, that while she is reciting, she
should endeavor to elevate her mind in My love, with the consideration of her own defects and of the Blood of My only-begotten Son, wherein she finds the breadth of
My charity and the remission of her sins. And this she should do, so that selfknowledge and the consideration of her own defects should make her recognize My
goodness in herself and continue her exercises with true humility. I do not wish defects to be considered in particular, but in general, so that the mind may not be
contaminated by the remembrance of particular and hideous sins. But, as I said, I do not wish the soul to consider her sins, either in general or in particular, without also remembering the Blood and the broadness of My mercy, for fear that otherwise she should be brought to confusion.