TO PRAY IS TO BE CLOSE
Showing once again his good pedagogical understanding, Claret presents prayer as the mediation necessary for those who wish to achieve a series of what are very desirable objectives for a disciple of Christ. His formulation, made in the language of the 19th century, can sound strange but the content is very currant and easy to understand.
Prayer helps to overcome tribulations and temptations, to combat bad habits, to acquire virtues and root out vices, to live complicated moments with happiness, to progress in the way of the Spirit, to maintain constancy in the resolution to respond to and serve the Lord, etc. Prayer is one of the privileged means that the Spirit uses to make his presence in us. Baptized and anointed by the sacraments of initiation, through prayer the Father revives in us his grace, strengthens our spirit and equips us to combat evil.
Claret uses a beautiful expression: it becomes us to be ‘men and women of prayer’. We live in cultures that value the instantaneous, the immediate, the dramatic. But some of the most valuable realities of life (love, beauty, pardon, goodness, service, gratitude, etc.) need time and grow and flower by a slow process, not exempt from difficulties, in which constancy plays a great role. It is not concerned with having fantastic moments of prayer but rather to change us into people distinguished for praying frequently and with constancy. Once again Claret shows us the way forward.
Are you a ‘prayer’ or only a ‘reciter’? Do you live aware of the presence of the Spirit in you, your condition as a collaborator in his work? Have you been taking pleasure in ‘heavenly things?