Here and in the next several posts, we shall explore various aspects of prayer as discussed by the Redemptorist Father Ferreol Girardey in his book Prayer: Its Necessity, Its Power, Its Conditions. In this book, which bears the imprimatur of Archbishop John Glennon of St. Louis, Girardey gives reasons why we should pray and how we should pray.
Father Girardey writes: “Eternal salvation is the end of every man. It is the only object obtainable by every man. It is the only object which he can be infallibly sure to attain, if only he is willing to make use of the necessary means. God, our Father in heaven, has destined a special place in heaven, His kingdom, for every man and will, moreover, give every man who earnestly strives to attain it all the necessary means for doing so.”
“But how different is the case with earthly aims. No man, however great his ability, however great and constant his exertions, can have the certainty of attaining his object. How many are disappointed in their plans for enjoying an easy and comfortable life, for amassing wealth, or acquiring learning, honors, prominence, influence, fame, for securing a life of domestic happiness, for indulging their passions!”
“Experience tells us that many a man fails in his worldly aspirations, in his worldly aims. The hopes, the expectations of very many are frequently shattered by circumstances beyond their control. This fact of experience is a clear proof that the end of man is not to be found on earth, nor in this life. Moreover, the possession and enjoyment of the goods of this world are insufficient to satisfy man’s desire for happiness, for with their possession and enjoyment are connected anxiety, cares, feelings of emptiness, of a void in the heart which they cannot fill, and even feelings of weariness and disgust.”
“God, our Creator and most loving Father, has destined for each of us a special place in heaven, that abode of pure, inconceivable and everlasting delights, of perfect, unalloyed happiness, a happiness that will fill every desire and leave nothing more to be desired; a happiness that can never be lost or diminished; a happiness which it is in our power to attain, and which we can be sure to attain, if we only use the means God offers us for this. Should we not, therefore, ardently desire and long for it, and willingly make every effort to gain possession of it?”
Quotations from Ferreol Girardey, Prayer: Its Necessity, Its Power, Its Conditions (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916).