We Pray Because God Is Our Greatest Benefactor

Father Girardey gives a second reason why we ought to pray: because God is our greatest benefactor.

He writes: “Without any merit or claim on our part, God has given us our body with its wonderful organs and senses, our immortal soul with its supersensible faculties, understanding, free will and memory, to distinguish us from irrational beings, to render us almost equal to the angels and make us even the image of Himself. Every moment of our life, everything we are and have is His gift. From how many dangers, sufferings and trials has He preserved us, and how many of them has He enabled us to bear or derive profit from! In fact, we could almost as easily count the grains of sand on the sea-shore as the temporal gifts and favors He has bestowed upon us.”

“He has, moreover, destined us after this life to reign with Him in heaven as His heirs and there to share His own happiness forever. And to enable us to secure this glorious destiny, He sent His own Divine Son on earth to become man and die for us on the cross. And Jesus Christ, the Son of God shed all His blood and died on the cross to save us. And did He not, besides, found His Church, endow her with the Sacraments, with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and with every necessary means to enable us to save our souls and merit heaven? And His love for us went even so far as to make His own Mother our own spiritual Mother to care for us, to assist us with her all-powerful mediation to overcome all obstacles on our way to heaven. And how often has not the Son of God imparted to us the graces necessary to overcome temptations, to keep the divine commandments and to lead a virtuous life?”

“It may be truly said that every moment of our life has been marked by God’s benefits to enable us to avoid, to expiate sin and escape its eternal punishment, and to secure in heaven the happiness destined to the beloved children of God. And all these countless inestimable gifts, favors and helps have been conferred on us without any merit on our part, and even notwithstanding our unworthiness, our sinfulness. Wherefore, God is the most liberal of benefactors and our most loving Father, and it is our sacred and indispensable duty to show Him our gratitude by frequently, nay, even daily, offering Him our most sincere and heartfelt thanks. To do this is prayer.”

Quotations from Ferreol Girardey, Prayer: Its Necessity, Its Power, Its Conditions (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916).

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