A Year with the Saints – 30 September


The highest and most perfect prayer is contemplation. But this is altogether the work of God, as it is supernatural and above our powers. The soul can only prepare itself for this prayer, and can do nothing in it. The best preparation is to live humbly, and to give ourselves in earnest to the acquisition of virtues, and especially, of fraternal charity and the love of God; to have a fine resolution to do the will of God in all things; to walk in the way of the Cross, and to destroy self-love, which is a wish, on our part, to please ourselves rather than God. – Saint Teresa of Avila

This Saint fulfilled all this with great perfection, and for that reason she was endowed with such lofty contemplation and rare gifts.

When Saint Anthony the Abbot was asked how he could pass whole nights in prayer, he answered: “I never knew in what true contemplation consists as long as I had regard to myself. But when I succeeded in purifying my mind from every disorderly motion and separating my heart from every earthly affection, then I began to enjoy that admirable fruit of the Divine Will which purified souls are wont to taste in contemplation.”

The following words came from a soul that had received much light: “I know by experience that to learn mystic theology, it is more useful to study the crucifix than books; that is, instead of occupying ourselves with much reading, we ought to labor in the practice of virtue, in the imitation of Jesus Christ, in attention to purity of life, to prayer, and to fidelity in doing and suffering whatever God requires of us, as well as in dying to ourselves.”

MLA Citation