By a Parish Priest
The Catholic Church the Teacher of Mankind
Imprimatur, 1905


Prayer is a fragrant dew; but we must pray with a pure heart to feel this dew. There flows from prayer a delicious sweetness, like the juice of very ripe grapes. Prayer disengages our soul from matter; it raises it on high, like the fire that inflates a balloon. The more we pray, the more we wish to pray. Like a fish which at first swims on the surface of the water, and afterward plunges down, and is always going deeper, the soul plunges, dives, and loses itself in the sweetness of conversing with God.
-------- Ven. Cure d'Ars

Prayer is nothing else than union with God. When our heart is pure and united to God, we feel within ourselves a joy, a sweetness that inebriates, a light that dazzles us. In this intimate union God and the soul are like two pieces of wax melted together; they cannot be separated. This union of God with His little creature is a most beautiful thing. It is a happiness that we cannot understand.
-------- Ven. Cure d'Ars

Countless numbers are deceived in multiplying prayers. I would rather say five words devoutly with my heart, than five thousand which my soul does not relish with affection and understanding. "Sing to the Lord wisely," says the Royal Psalmist. What a man repeats by his mouth, that let him feel in his soul.
-------- St. Edmund, B.C.

God will grant all that thou askest for in prayer, provided it be expedient; if it be not expedient, He will bestow something more conducive to thy welfare. He best knows how and when to supply thy wants. When, through ignorance, thou askest for what is not beneficial, it is better thy petition should not be granted.
-------- Ven. Blosius

A religious ought to desire nothing so much as to obtain the grace and gift of prayer, for without this he cannot hope to be able to make any progress in God's service; and with it there is nothing he may not promise himself.
-------- St. Francis of Assisi

What is most valued in religious persons is not depth of learning and great talents for preaching, nor any other natural or human endowment, but it is humility and obedience, a spirit of recollection and prayer. St. Ignatius

Prayer is an impenetrable shield, a safe refuge, a certain harbor, and a most secure asylum. From the heart of man it ejects misery, and endows it with all good; indeed, by means of prayer, every blessing is attainable. As often as thou wilIest, thy heavenly Father granteth thee an audience, and is ever ready to soothe they anguish, comfort thy distress, and restore peace to thy troubled mind. Ven. Blosius

However great may be the temptation, if we know how to use the weapon of prayer well, we shall come off conquerors at last; for prayer is more powerful than all the devils. He who is attacked by the spirits of darkness
needs only to apply himself vigorously to prayer, and he will beat them back with great success. St. Bernard

How should Our Lord fail to grant His graces to him who asks for them from his heart, when He confers so many blessings even on those who do not call upon Him? Ah, He would not so urge, and almost force us to pray to Him, if He had not a most eager desire to bestow His graces on us. St. John Chrysostom

God is more anxious to bestow His blessings on us than we are to receive them. St. Augustine

It is an old custom with the servants of God to have some little prayers ready, and to be frequently darting them up to Heaven during the day, lifting their minds to God out of the mire of this world. He who adopts this plan will get great fruits with little pains. St. Philip Neri

Aspire to God with short but frequent outpourings of the heart; admire His bounty; invoke His aid; cast yourself in spirit at the foot of His cross; adore His goodness; treat with Him of your salvation; give Him your whole soul a thousand times in the day; fix your interior eyes on His ineffable sweetness; stretch forth your hand toward Him as an infant toward its father to be conducted by Him.
-------- St. Francis of Sales

As those who are influenced by human and natural love have their minds and hearts constantly fixed on the objects of their affections; as they speak often in their praise, and when absent lose no opportunity of expressing by letters this affection for them, and cannot even pass a tree without inscribing on the bark the name of their beloved: so those who are possessed of Divine love have their minds and hearts constantly turned toward the Divine object of their love; they are ever thinking of Him, they long after Him; they aspire to Him, and frequently speak of Him; and, were it possible, would engrave in the hearts of all mankind the Name of their beloved Jesus.
-------- St. Francis of Sales

One of the fruits of prayer is the knowledge of God, who manifests Himself to those who adore Him in spirit and truth. Hence love is kindled in the soul, it runs in the odor of His sweet perfumes, is drowned in the torrent of His sweetness, enjoys perfect interior peace, and is brought to immortal glory.
-------- Blessed Giles

To pray is to raise the mind to God and converse with Him concerning our interests with a reverent familiarity, and a confidence greater than has the most petted child with its mother, and to talk with Him of all things both high and low, of the things of Heaven and the things of earth; it is to open one's heart to Him and pour it out unreservedly to Him; it is to tell Him of our labors, our sins, our desires, and all that is in our soul, and to find our rest with Him as we would with a friend. It is what the Holy Scripture calls "pouring forth one's heart as water before Him."
-------- St. Francis of Sales

When through frailty a Christian is disturbed in prayer let him not imagine his entreaties to be worthless; for the benignity of God is such that, provided the petitioner's virtual intention be good, his prayer is not rejected.
-------- Ven. Blosius

There is one thing that greatly afflicts pious souls, which is the distractions they suffer in prayer ... On such occasions, it is necessary to call back our wandering thoughts by renewing our faith in the presence of God, and by again placing ourselves before Him with reverence and respect; and if we cannot succeed in fixing our mind on the subject of our prayer, then we must endure with resignation and humility the painful cross. For the time will not be thrown away, as at first sight might appear; but on the contrary, one single hour of prayer performed in this manner will oftentimes prove more fruitful than many hours passed in recollection and peace; for each effort which the soul makes to drive away distractions, in order that it may not displease God, but serve Him better, is an act of the love of God.
-------- St. Teresa
Sometimes Our Lord will require souls chosen for the service of His Divine Majesty, to be invigorated with a firm and invariable resolution of persevering in His service, amid a continued series of disgust, dryness, repugnances, and spiritual asperities, without consolations, without fervor, without any tender feelings and sensible delights; and He wishes them to consider themselves as not worthy of any other treatment; thus following their Saviour in the superior and most delicate part of the soul, without any other support than that of His Divine Will which will have it so.
-------- St. Francis of Sales

After the winter of this coldness the holy summer will arrive, and we shall be consoled. Alas! we are always ready to welcome sweetness, enjoyment, and delicious consolations; but, after all, the roughness of desolation is more fruitful; and although St. Peter loved the mountain of Thabor, and fled from that of Calvary, the latter is, nevertheless, more salutary than the former; and the blood which is sprinkled over the one is more desirable than the light which is diffused over the other.
-------- St. Francis of Sales

Great talent is a gift of God, but it is a gift which is by no means necessary in order to pray well. This gift is required in order to converse well with men; but it is not necessary in order to speak well with God. To speak well with God, one needs good desires and nothing more.
-------- St. John of the Cross

Some people, because of their self-love and the hollow joy which they have in prayer, will multiply their prayers beyond measure. Now, if they were to attend to something else of more importance, they would do better:
namely, if they set about the purification of their own conscience, and applied themselves to the affair of their own salvation, omitting all prayers which have not this for their immediate object. If they do this, they will obtain that which concerns them most, and they will obtain besides all else, though they did not pray for it, in a readier and better way than if they had directed all their energies to it. We have for this the promise of Our Lord Himself, who tells us, "Seek ye, therefore, first the Kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you."
--------  St. John of the Cross

It is quite clear that when the disciples of Christ said unto Him, "Teach us to pray," He told them all they were to do in order to be heard of the Eternal Father. He knew His Will. He then taught them only the seven petitions of the Pater Noster, which includes all our wants, spiritual and temporal. He did not teach them many and other forms and ceremonies. He had before told them not to use many words when they prayed, saying, "When you are praying, speak not much, for your Father knoweth what is needful for you." Only He charged them with great earnestness to persevere in prayer---that is, the Pater Noster---saying, "that we ought always to pray and not to faint." He did not teach us a variety of prayers, but to repeat often, with care and fervor, these petitions---for they contain the whole Will of God and our wants also. He Himself, when He fell on His face in the garden and prayed three times to the Eternal Father, thrice repeated the self-same words of the Pater Noster, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt;" that is, Father, if I must drink this chalice, Thy Will be done.
-------- St. John of the Cross


Our whole perfection consists in loving our most amiable God; and all the perfection of the love of God consists in uniting our will with His most holy will.

The greatest glory that we can give to God is to fulfill His Blessed Will in all things.

The pure and perfect love which the Blessed in Heaven have for God consists in the perfect union of themselves with His holy will. If the Seraphim understood it to be His will that they should be employed for all eternity in raising heaps of sand on the seashore, or in the meanest employment on earth, they would do it with the utmost delight. Conformity means our joining our will with the will of God; uniformity means our making the Divine will and our own will but one, so that we will nothing but what God wills, and God's will alone is our will. This is the summit of perfection to which we should always aspire; this should be the object of all our actions, of all our desires, meditations, and prayers. If you embrace all things in life as coming from the hands of God, and even death to fulfill His holy will, assuredly you will die a Saint and will be saved. Let us then abandon ourselves in all things to the good will of that Lord who, being most wise, knows what is best for us, and, being most loving, since He has given His life for the love of us, wills also what is best for us.
-------- St. Liguori

Man's salvation and perfection consist in doing the will of God; which he must have in view in all things and at every moment of his life: the more he accomplishes this Divine will, the more perfect he will be.

To do the will of God man must despise his own: the more he dies to himself, the more he will live to God.
-------- Blessed Peter Claver

We must remember that it is God's will, and not our own will, that we must do, for he that doth His will shall abide forever, even as He abideth forever. Therefore, with mind entire, faith firm, courage undaunted, love thorough, let us be ready for whatever God willeth, faithfully keeping the Lord's commandment, having innocency in simplicity; peaceableness in love; modesty in lowliness; in ministering, diligence; in helping them that toil, watchfulness; in succoring the poor, mercifulness; in standing up for the truth, firmness; in keeping of discipline, sternness; lest we be found wanting in every good work. These are the steps which the Saints who "have already gone home have left marked for us, that, by keeping in their footprints, we may follow them in their joy.
-------- Ven. Bede

Let us throw ourselves into the arms of God, and be sure that if He wishes to accomplish anything by us, He will qualify us for all He desires us to do for Him. When the soul lies resignedly in the hands of God, and is contented with the Divine pleasure, she is in good hands, and has the best security that good will happen to her. Entire conformity and resignation to the Divine will is truly a road on which we cannot go wrong, and it is the only road which leads us to taste and enjoy that peace which sensual and earthly men know nothing of.
-------- St. Philip Neri

We should unresistingly allow Our Lord to operate in us what---where---and when He pleases. We should willingly submit to be drawn by Him, so to speak, through the shades of death and the darkness of Hell. Is it not absurd to say in the Lord's prayer so frequently: "May His holy will be done," and feel ourselves disconcerted and inconsolable when it is accomplished?
-------- Ven. Blosius

Who art Thou but my Creator and my Sovereign Good? and who am I but a miserable creature? I am bound in all things to conform my will to Thine. Thou alone knowest best and what is for my good. As I am not my own, but altogether Thine, so neither do I desire that my will be done, but Thine, nor will I have any will but Thine.
-------- St. Francis Borgia

O sovereign Spouse of my soul, never suffer me to love anything but in Thee or for Thee.  May everything which tends not to Thee be bitter and painful, and Thy will alone sweet. May Thy will be always mine: as in Heaven Thy will is punctually performed, so may it be done on earth by all creatures, particularly in me and by me.
-------- St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Feed upon the will of God, and drink the chalice of Jesus with your eyes shut, so that you may not see what is inside; let it be enough for you to know that it is the cup of your sweet Jesus. Above all, form to yourself a constant habit of resignation by making frequently such acts as these: O beloved Will! O most Holy will of God, I love Thee! ... The food of my Jesus was to do the will of His Father, mine shall be the Same.
-------- St. Paul of the Cross

The whole science of the Saints consists in knowing and following the will of God; because then only can a man be perfect indeed, when, raising himself above all other things, he subjects himself to eternal truth and justice, for, since man was made after the image and likeness of God, Who is Eternal Truth and Justice, he cannot expect to attain either perfection or happiness except by conformity to his divine original. On the other hand, the most dangerous of all temptations are those which lead us to follow the suggestions of our own hearts and thoughts, instead of the will of God. The pleasure which a man seeks in the gratification of his own inclinations is quickly changed into bitterness, and leaves nothing behind but the regret of having been ignorant of the secret of true beatitude and of the way of the Saints.
-------- St. Isidore

A servant who follows his master, if he be asked where he goes, might reply that he does not go, that he only follows: because it is his master's will and not his, which determines the place to which he walks.
-------- St. Francis of Sales

St. Macarius once sent a youth who wished to become an anchorite to the burial ground of the brethren, and ordered him to praise the dead. When he returned he said to him: "Go there once more and revile the dead." After he had obeyed the Saint asked: "What did the dead answer thee, my son?" "Nothing, my father," replied the astonished youth. "Imitate, then, my son, their insensibility to the contempt or praise of men; for eternal life depends not upon the judgments of the world, but upon the judgments of God." To another he said: "Receive poverty, want, sickness, and all miseries joyfully from the hand of God, and with equal joy, consolation, refreshment and all superabundance. By this uniform joy in the will of God, thou wilt deaden the stimulus of thy passions."
-------- St. Macarius

The accomplishment of Divine will is the sole end for which we are in the world. It is our only business, and our unum necessarium. This is what we ask this day of God: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." It is our center and our element, in which we find sweet repose, true life, perfect happiness, and eternal salvation, out of which there is nothing but trouble, death, and eternal loss.
-------- Ven. John Eudes

To be a good servant of God is to be charitable to our neighbor, maintaining in the superior will an invincible resolution to do God's will; to possess great humility and simplicity in confiding one's self to God; to rise as frequently as one falls; to inure one's self to humiliations, and to tranquilly bear with the defects of others.
-------- St. Francis of Sales

The exercise of continual abandonment of one's self to the hands of God includes in the most excellent manner all other exercises in their greatest simplicity, purity, and perfection, and while God leaves us the desire for it we should not change.
-------- St. Francis of Sales

You desire that it should always be spring in your soul, but that cannot be. We must endure vicissitudes of weather interiorly as well as exteriorly, It is only in Heaven that we shall find the perpetual beauty of spring, the perpetual ripening of summer, the perpetual fruition of autumn. There we shall have no winter; but here winter is required for the exercise of abnegation, and a thousand little virtues which are practiced in times of sterility.
-------- St. Francis of Sales

Paradise is no more pleasing than the miseries of this world, if the Divine good pleasures be equally in the miseries as in paradise. Labor is paradise, if the Divine will be found in it, and paradise labor, if the Divine will be not in it.
-------- St. Francis of Sales

If I want only pure water, what does it matter whether it be brought me in a vase of gold or of glass? What is it to me whether the will of God be presented to me in tribulation or consolation, since I desire and seek only the Divine Will?
-------- St. Francis of Sales
A heart indifferent to all things is like a ball of wax in the hands of God, capable of receiving all the impressions of His eternal good pleasure. It does not place its love in the things which God wills, but in the will of God Who decrees them.
-------- St. Francis of Sales