Ask and You Shall Receive

Saint Clare and Saint Francis by Niccolò Alunno

Christ declared: “Amen, amen, I say to you: If you ask the Father anything in My name He will give it you” (John 16:23).

Commenting upon this verse, Father Frassinetti writes: “Here is a kind of promise upon oath, by which Christ Himself assures us by His own mouth that if we ask anything in His name it shall be given to us. But when is it, say the fathers, that we ask anything in the name of Jesus? It is, they answer, whenever we ask for the saving graces of eternal life. It is then that we ask in the name of Jesus, that is, in the name of our Saviour.”

“Observe that here our Lord Christ has pledged His own word, and contracted a real obligation with Himself, that is, with His own unfailing faithfulness. After such a promise He cannot allow us to pray in vain for any grace that we require in order to gain eternal life. Christ cannot be bound by any obligation towards us, but He can towards Himself.”

“Without the great means of prayer, all the care, all the diligence, all the intentions in the world will be worth nothing. Prayer is worth all these things put together, because it will obtain for us all that is necessary and useful for Christian perfection.”

“Perhaps you will say to me, ‘I cannot spend much time in prayer.’ If it be so, spend a short time at your prayers, and that little will suffice, and Almighty God, seeing you devote to prayer what little time you are able to give, will not on account of its brevity deny you one single grace.”

“You will, perhaps, say to me: ‘I know not how to meditate.’ . . . Simple meditation—that is, the turning of our own thoughts to the eternal maxims—is necessary for all, every one knows how to do it, and every one can do it without exception. In fact, who does not know, who cannot reflect, that God chastises the wicked, that God rewards the good, that for the love of us He became incarnate, that He suffered for us?”

Quotations from Joseph Frassinetti, The Consolation of the Devout Soul, trans. Georgiana Lady Chatterton (London: Burns and Oates, 1876).

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