AN ARTICLE FROM OUR SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE SERIES By the late Father Kilian McGowan, C.P.
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Ask any saint. Ask any writer learned in spiritual things. Ask any sinner who has returned to the fold of Christ. All will tell you that reformation of life or transformation of character is impossible without prayer. They all know, too, of the amazing changes that occur in the life of anyone who forms the habit of intimate, heart to heart conversation with Christ.
This is a plea for fifteen minutes daily of this loving conversation with our Lord. We don't mean vocal prayer; rather we believe that interior prayer or meditation is an absolute necessity for spiritual survival today. All this means is a lifting up of your mind and heart to Christ in a sanctifying conversation. If you have a memory, a mind and a heart, you can do it. And you should! Later on, a simple method easy for anyone will be given.
There are two great reasons why you should pray in this manner. The first is that it's the only way to stay in conscious contact with Christ. Every sincere seeker of Christ wants to get into contact with Him as soon as and as perfectly as possible. Furthermore, he wants to maintain this active contact so as to develop a loving friendship with Him in all his daily activities.
This is obviously impossible unless there is a frequent and daily contact with the Mind and Heart of Christ. Without prayer there will never be that prayerful reflection on Christ that leads one to an ever-increasing love and imitation of Him. Without prayer, a man will never achieve those honest insights into himself and life that mark the beginning of a more profound conversion to the ways of God.
A second basic reason for the necessity of mental prayer is found in the words of Our Savior: "Pray lest you enter into temptation." After repeating the same sentence, St. Teresa of Avila adds in her INTERIOR CASTLE: "He who neglects mental prayer needs not the devil to carry him to hell, but he brings himself there by his own hands". St. Alphonsus Liguori states that "it is morally impossible for him who neglects meditation to live without sin."
St. Teresa knew from personal experience that there would be no hope for spiritual progress without the practice of meditation. She lived in a lukewarm state spiritually for almost fifteen years because she had neglected it. Only after her return to daily mental prayer did she again make rapid strides in her quest for union with our Lord. Thereafter, she encouraged all who came to her never to abandon prayer no matter what problems arose.
St. Peter of Alcantara sums up the benefits of meditation in the following words: "In mental prayer, the soul is purified from its sins...nourished with charity...confirmed in faith...and strengthened in hope...the mind expands...the heart is purified...temptation is conquered...sadness is dispelled...drooping powers revive...tepidity ceases...and the rust of vice disappears." (Treatise on Prayer.)
Don't say you haven't had time. The busier you are the more you need this kind of prayer. Without it you're like a spiritual cripple just staggering along on your road to eternal life. With it you'll accomplish twice as much as before spiritually and otherwise. Meditation is an absolute must for sane, daily living. It will put order, peace and refreshment into your everyday life. What's more, it will put Christ there-where He belongs!
Love and Blessings, Wendy C.
"Healing Mind, Body & Soul"
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(PPS...Before you go..don't forget to sign up for our FREE CATHOLIC SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE SERIES!
Guidance by our friend the late Fr. Kilian McGowan. Head over here for a life changing experience...our gift!