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St. Vincent on Prayer

litho-frcambonnierSt. Vincent urged St. Louise to form the young sisters very well in prayer. He himself gave many practical conferences to them on the subject. It is evident from these conferences that many had difficulties in engaging in mental prayer. He assures them that it is really quite easy! It is like having a conversation for half an hour. He states, with some irony, that people are usually glad to talk with a king or world leader. We should be all the more glad to have a chance to talk with God. He gives numerous examples of those who have learned to pray, in all classes of society: peasant girls, servants, soldiers, actors and actresses, lawyers, statesmen, fashionable women and noblemen of the court, judges. In the various conferences that he gave upon the occasion of the death of Daughters of Charity, he often alluded to their prayerfulness.

He defines prayer as “an elevation of the mind to God by which the soul detaches itself, as it were, from itself so as to seek God in himself. It is a conversation with God, an intercourse of the spirit, in which God interiorly teaches it what it should know and do, and in which the soul says to God what he himself teaches it to ask for.”

– Robert P. Maloney, CM

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