praying to his Father and teaching the Our Father to
Meditation is a prayerful quest engaging thought,
imagination, emotion, and desire. Its goal is to make
our own in faith the subject considered, by confronting
it with the reality of our own life.
Contemplative prayer is the simple expression of the
mystery of prayer. It is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus,
an attentiveness to the Word of God, a silent love. It
achieves real union with the prayer of Christ to the
extent that it makes us share in his mystery.
THE BATTLE OF PRAYER
Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on
our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of
the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the
saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against
whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who
does all he can to turnman away fromprayer, away fromunion with
God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not
want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither canwe
pray habitually in his name. The “spiritual battle” of the Christian’s
new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer.
In the battle of prayer, we must face in ourselves and
erroneous notions of prayer.
Some people view prayer as a
simple psychological activity, others as an effort of concentration
to reach a mental void. Still others reduce prayer to ritual words
and postures. Many Christians unconsciously regard prayer as an
occupation that is incompatible with all the other things they have
to do: they “don’t have the time.” Those who seek God by prayer
are quickly discouraged because they do not know that prayer
comes also from the Holy Spirit and not from themselves alone.