Saints and Sages on Prayer

Father Girardey offers this potpourri of thoughts on the subject of prayer:

“Whether we pray vocally or mentally, it is our heart that should speak to God.” -St. Augustine

“Prayer is the food of our soul, for on it depends our preservation in the state of grace and our eternal life in heaven.”

“Prayer protects us from temporal misfortunes, brings down heavenly blessings on our labors and relief and consolation in sufferings and trials; it partly frees us from temptations and partly strengthens us to combat them, and puts the devils to flight. It obtains for us the virtues we need and enables us to practice them.”

“Nothing is sweeter or more cheering than a fervent prayer.” -St. Bernard

“What is more glorious or more delightful than to speak to God?”

“Thus should we pray: ‘Lord, if it please Thee, grant me.'” -Imitation of Christ

“When praying for temporal benefits, pray with moderation and timidity, saying to God: ‘Lord, if it be beneficial to me, grant me . . . but refuse it, if it be hurtful.'” -St. Augustine

“As moisture is necessary to keep plants from withering, so is prayer necessary to keep Christians from damnation.” -St. John Chrysostom

“Prayer is to man what the root is to the tree and the foundation to a building.” -St. John Chrysostom

“As water extinguishes fire, so does prayer extinguish the fire of passion.” -St. John Chrysostom

“As wax is bleached in the sunlight, so is the soul purified in communing with God, the Eternal Light.” -St. Augustine

“Prayer is a ladder that enables us to ascend to heaven.” -St. Augustine

“Prayer is the key of heaven and of its treasures.” -St. Augustine

“The most favorable time for obtaining the benefits we need is after receiving holy Communion, in which Jesus gives Himself to us and we become most intimately united to Him. Having given Himself to us, there is nothing which He can refuse us, if it promotes or contributes to our salvation.”

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

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