Mother Teresa on Prayer

Posted by Guest Blogger on 4/22/17 4:02 AM

Mother Teresa smiles for reporters. Image: Wikimedia Commons
Mother Teresa devoted her life to prayer, to finding oneness with God. The following words, which all center on the importance of prayer, are from Mother Teresa herself, taken from the book Thirsting for God: Daily Meditations.

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The apostles devoted themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. Their example teaches us that the more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. Therefore, on the streets, in the slums, at work, in the home, we should pray with our whole heart and soul. We must keep that silence which Jesus kept for thirty years at Nazareth. Even now, he keeps it in the tabernacle, silently making intercession for us.

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Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net by which we catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver: We give most when we give with joy. If you have difficulties in your daily life, accept them with joy, with a big smile! In this, others will see your good works and glorify the Father. The best way to show your gratitude to God and to people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love.

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We shall not waste our time in looking for extraordinary experiences in our life of prayer but live by pure faith, ever watchful and ready for his coming by doing our day-to-day ordinary duties with extraordinary love and devotion.

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We must improve our prayer and, flowing from that, our charity toward others. It can be difficult to pray when we don’t know how, but we can help ourselves through the use of silence. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence. This silence takes a lot of sacrifice, but if we really want to pray, we must be ready to take that step now. Without this first step toward silence, we will not be able to reach our goal, which is union with God.

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Holiness is union with God. When we are holy—in prayer and action alike—we come from God in Christ and go to God through Christ. Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” These words should be a light to us, a flame consuming the selfishness that prevents the growth of holiness.

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Resist anything that leads to moodiness. Our prayer each day should be, “Let the joy of the Lord be my strength.” Cheerfulness and joy were Our Lady’s strength. This made her a willing handmaid of God. Only joy could have given her the strength to go in haste over the hills of Judea to her cousin Elizabeth, there to do the work of a handmaid. If we are to be true handmaids of the Lord, then we too, each day, must go cheerfully in haste over the hills of difficulties.

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We forget that in the silence of the heart God speaks, and from the fullness of the heart we speak. Only when we have heard him in the silence of our hearts, only when we have learned to listen to God in the silence of our hearts, only then can we say: I pray. There is no either/or about prayer and love. We can’t say we have either prayer or love: There is no prayer without love and no love without prayer.

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“Prayer is nothing but that oneness with Christ. As Scripture says in St. Paul, ‘I live no longer, but Christ lives in me.’ Christ prays in me, Christ thinks in me, Christ looks through my eyes, Christ speaks through my words, Christ works with my hands, Christ walks with my feet, Christ loves with my heart.”


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The Mother Teresa collection by Franciscan Media

 

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