Saturday, April 10, 2010

THE HEART OF PRAYER April 12, 1615

St. Frances de Sales Sermon on April 12, 1615 - 395 years ago.

We still have to point out the distinction that exists in prayer, whether mental or vocal prayer. In prayer we go to God in two ways, both of which have been recommended to us by Our Lord and commanded by our Holy Mother the Church--namely, sometimes we pray directly to God, and at other times indirectly, as when we say the anthems of Our Lady, the Salve Regina and
others. When we pray directly we exercise the filial confidence which is founded upon faith, hope and charity; when we pray indirectly and through the intercession of another, we practice the holy humility which springs from self-knowledge. When we go directly to God we proclaim His goodness and mercy, in which we place all our confidence; but when we pray indirectly, that is, when we implore the assistance of Our Lady, of the saints and of the blessed, it is so that we might better be received by the Divine Majesty, and then we proclaim His greatness and omnipotence, and the reverence which we owe Him.

In our souls there is the first level, which is a certain knowledge that we have through our senses, as by our eyes we know that such an object is green, red or yellow. But after this there is a degree or level which is still a little higher, namely, a knowledge that we have by means of consideration. For example, a man who has been ill-treated in a certain place will consider what he will be able to do in order not to return there. The third level is the knowledge we have through faith. The fourth, the Sancta Sanctorum, is the highest point of our soul, which we call spirit, and so long as this highest point is always fixed on God, we need not be troubled in the least.

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