Wisdom of the Saints about prayer (part 5)

“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.” St. John Chrysostom (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“Remember, there is One Who listens to you, so do not hesitate to pray to Him. But He abides within you. You need only purify the inmost recesses of your heart. He is the Lord our God, the Word of God, the Word made human, Son of the Father, Son of God and Son of Man.” St. Augustine of Hippo (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“The essence of prayer is not to be found in always being on our knees but in keeping our wills clearly united to God’s will in all events. The soul which holds itself ready and open to yield itself obediently on any occasion, and which receives these occasions lovingly as sent by God, can do this even while sweeping the floor.” St. Francis de Sales (16th-17th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“What can you do to prevent the smallest insect, as you express it, that is the smallest distraction, from withdrawing your mind from God as it does? Pardon me, my daughter, the smallest distraction does not withdraw your soul from God, as you say; for nothing withdraws us from God but sin; and our resolution made each morning to keep our soul united to God and attentive to His presence keeps us always there, even when we are sleeping, since we sleep in the Name of God and according to His holy will.” St. Francis de Sales

“Our God, before Whom the kings of the earth are less than a spark in the full blaze of the sun…this great God, nevertheless, shows Himself eager to hear us at any hour of the day or night that suits us to address Him.” St. Jane Frances de Chantal (16th-17th centuries)

“Prayer is just conversation with God, that state of the soul which gazes on God, wordlessly, entirely taken up in contemplating Him, telling Him how we love Him, telling Him by the way we look at Him while we speak no words with our lips, or even our thoughts. The best prayer is the one in which there is the most love.” St. Charles de Foucauld (19th-20th centuries)

“Prayer is the raising of the mind to God. We must always remember this. The actual words matter less.” Pope St. John XXIII (19th-20th centuries)

“Prayer, then, is not informing God of our needs, for God already knows them. Rather, the purpose of prayer is to give God the opportunity to bestow the gifts He will give us when we are ready to accept them. It is not the eye that makes the light of the sun surround us; it is not the lung that makes the air envelop us. The light of the sun is there if we do not close our eyes to it, and the air is there for our lungs if we do not hold our breath. God’s blessings are there – if we do not rebel against His will to give. The person who thinks only of himself says only prayers of petition; the one who thinks of his neighbor says prayers of intercession; whoever thinks only of loving and serving God says prayers of abandonment to God’s will, and this is the prayer of the saints. The price of this prayer is too high for most people, for it demands the displacement of our ego.” Ven. Fulton Sheen (19th-20th centuries)

“A Catholic, without prayer? It is the same as a soldier without arms.” St. Josemaria Escriva (20th century)

“My secret is quite simple. I pray.” St. Teresa of Calcutta (20th century)

“Prayer can truly change your life. For it turns your attention away from yourself and directs your mind and your heart toward the Lord. If we look only at ourselves, with our own limitations and sins, we quickly give way to sadness and discouragement. But if we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, then our hearts are filled with hope, our minds are washed in the light of truth and we come to know the fullness of the Gospel with all its promise and life.” Pope St. John Paul II (20th-21st centuries)