AS the body needs food for energy, so too does the soul need spiritual food to climb the Mountain of Faith. Food is as important to the body as is breath. But what about the soul?
From the Catechism:
Prayer is the life of the new heart. —CCC, n.2697
If prayer is the life of the new heart, then the death of the new heart is no prayer—just as lack of food starves the body. This explains why so many of us Catholics are not ascending the Mountain, not growing in holiness and virtue. We come to Mass every Sunday, drop two bucks in the basket, and forget about God the rest of the week. The soul, lacking spiritual nourishment, begins to die.
The Father desires a personal relationship with us, His children. But a personal relationship is much more than just asking God into your heart…
…prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father… —CCC, n.2565
Prayer IS the personal relationship with God! No prayer? No relationship.
THE ENCOUNTER WITH LOVE
All too often, we see prayer as a chore, or at most, a necessary ritual. It is far, far more.
Prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. –CCC, n. 2560
God is thirsting for your love! Even the angels bow before this mystery, the mystery of an infinite God in love with His finite creation. Prayer then is putting into words what our soul thirsts for: love… Love! God is love! We are thirsting for God too, whether we know it or not. Once I discover that He loves me with His very life and won’t take back that love, then I can begin to talk to Him because I don’t have to fear Him. This trust changes the language of prayer (hence it is called the “Mountain of Faith”). It is no longer a matter of repeating dry words or reciting poetic texts… it becomes a movement of the heart, a uniting of hearts, thirst satiating thirst.
Yes, God wants you to pray with the heart. Talk to Him as you would to a friend. This is His invitation:
I have called you friends… you are no longer a slave, but a child. (John 15:15; Gal 4:7)
Prayer, says St. Teresa of Avila,
…is a close sharing between two friends. It means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who loves us.
PRAYER FROM THE HEART
When you pray from the heart, you are opening yourself up to the Holy Spirit who is the Love of God for whom you hunger and thirst. Just as you cannot eat food without first opening your mouth, you must open your heart in order to receive the power and graces of the Holy Spirit necessary to ascend the Mountain of Faith:
Prayer attends to the grace we need… —CCC, n.2010
Can you see now the importance to become a soul of prayer? Pray from the heart, and you are praying the right way. Pray often, and you will learn to pray always.
So what are you waiting for? Shut your computer off, go to your inner room, and pray.
He, who is Love, is waiting.