Prayer and Holiness


What is prayer?

It is "... a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God" (CCC, #2558). Saint Thérèse of Lisieux shares: "For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy" (C, 25r).

At Baptism we receive grace, the very Life of God in us. The Triune God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - comes to dwell within us. Thus are we incorporated into Christ and given the means to become totally united to Him. In Him we have access to the Father in the Spirit.  As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: "There is no other way of Christian prayer than Christ. Whether our prayer is communal or personal, vocal or interior, it has access to the Father only if we pray 'in the name' of Jesus(#2664). We enter into a living relationship with the Persons of the Trinity, for as Saint Paul tells us: "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit" (Rom 10:13).

What is contemplative prayer?

Saint Teresa of Jesus tells us: Silent, contemplative prayer in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us' (as quoted in the CCC, #2709). Fr. Marie-Eugène shows us how the development of this living, intimate relationship with God is the normal fruit of the growth of our baptismal grace. Just as the yeast which transforms the bread dough (Luke 13:21-22) or the tiny seed that grows into a large plant (Luke 13: 18-19) our grace bears within it the power to transform us, to unite us totally to Christ and make us apostles, children of God moved by the Spirit (Rom 8:14).

Am I called to be holy?

Yes, you are, every baptized person is. Holiness is being united to God, so one with Him that He can do with us whatever He wills, He can send us on any misssion however, great or small. In the midst of our ordinary lives, we become radiators of His love. Through our lives, by our very presence, without words much of the time, He is able to touch others. We become witnesses to and channels of His Love in the world, capillaries taking His Life into the smallest details of our existence.

The brief quotes to the left are meant to make Fr. Marie-Eugene's teaching on silent, contemplative prayer available, to help us take sips or long draughts of Living Water, getting in touch with our grace. We need to put prayer into our lives on a regular basis in order for this transformation to take place.

How do I do this?

I find a quiet place where I can be alone.

I settle down to be quiet.

                          I forget what is around me.

I kneel down,

                          I close my eyes.


              I read a Bible passage . . .

                         a prayer.

I focus on the inside of my soul where God lives.

                             I pay attention only to Him.

I stay with Him for awhile,

      for His joy

                and so that He may transform me.