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Sunday, 6 July 2014

Prayer and Perfection Review

I have written somewhat on infused contemplation, also called passive contemplation. This is a high state for proficients. This is not the same, as I have repeated many, many times, as meditation or active contemplation.

Again, the prayer of simplicity is a prayer for active contemplation moving into infused or passive contemplation. Simplicity is simply looking at Christ, the glance to the Cross, or the reflection on the Attributes.

Again, know that different authors call the stages of prayer by different names. Most of us can do meditation of the Scriptures, the Life of Christ. Most of us can think on the Attributes of God in active contemplation.

Weeks ago, I wrote on the connection between prayer and Divine Providence from Garrigou-Lagrange’s book. Today, I want to repeat a few of the ideas in order to tie together the idea of prayer and self-abandonment to God.

The Dominican notes that “Prayer is not our invention.” We are inspired to pray by God and from all eternity He knew and willed our prayers.  When we pray, if we have allowed God to purify our intentions, our hearts, minds, wills, we are praying in the will of God.

This is a repeat but an important one, “True prayer, prayer offered with the requisite conditions, is infallibly efficacious because God has decreed that it shall be so, and God cannot revoke what He had once decreed. It is not only what comes to pass that has been foreseen and intended (or at any rate permitted) by a providential decree, but the manner in which it comes to pass, the causes that bring about the event, the means by which the end is attained.”

Providence desired a certain effect and our prayer is part of that. If we are purified, and to the extent that we are purified, our prayers are answered.

All self-abandonment opens us up to efficacious prayer.  If there is too much egotism, too much self-interest and not real self-abandonment, our prayers will not be answered, or, at least, delayed. But, God also tests our faith, our perseverance.  In real prayer, our wills are lifted up, states Garrigou-Lagrange, to cooperate with the will of God.

We begin to will what God wills. How wonderful, how freeing this is.

Why is a saint canonized when a prayer or prayers are answered? Because this shows the Church that prayer in the will of God is more powerful than science or disease, or trauma.

Garrigou-Lagrange writes: “It is a spiritual energy more potent than all the forces of nature together. It can obtain for us what God alone can bestow, the grace of contrition and of perfect charity, the grace also of eternal life, the very end and purpose of the divine governance, the final manifestation of its goodness.”

Tonight, a dear friend of mine is in the hospital terribly ill. I pray for God’s will to be done, either her healing or her passing on to a greater good.

I pray daily for the conversion of several dear to me and for the healing of some I love.

I fully expect God to answer my prayer as He wills only good. How God answers these prayers will be His will.

“God never permits evil except in view of some greater good. He wills that we co-operate in this good by a prayer that become daily more sincere, more humble, more profound, more confident, more persevering, by a prayer united with action, in order that each succeeding day shall see more perfectly realized in us an din those about us that petition of Our Father: ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’”