Fidelity to prayer. Difficulties

.Let us prepare with special care the time we dedicate to prayer, "being alone with the one we know loves us, " for from there we must draw strength to sanctify our daily work, to convert daily contradictions into grace and to overcome all difficulties. We are only as strong as our dealings with the Lord are true. At the beginning, "it is necessary to prepare the heart for this holy exercise, which is like one who tempers the vihuela to play". In this preparation we are helped by the offering of our work to the Lord throughout the day, small mortifications, interior recollection... and, at the moment we begin it, the act of the presence of God, in which we recollect ourselves interiorly and place ourselves before his gaze. This act of presence of God will normally be a brief vocal prayer that will introduce us to the dialogue with God; many times, it alone will give us material for this time of conversation with the Lord. It can help us to recite slowly these words, with our mind attentive: I firmly believe that you are here..., that you see me..., that you hear me.... We look at Him and He looks at us. And this feeling of being close to Him is already prayer, even if we do not expressly formulate any words. He understands us and we understand Him. We ask Him and He asks us: more generosity, more love, more struggle?

Let us not worry if sometimes, or always, we do not have a special feeling in prayer. "For those who are seriously engaged in prayer, times will come when it will seem to them that they are wandering in a desert and, in spite of all their efforts, feel nothing of God. He should know that these trials are not spared to anyone who takes prayer seriously (...). In these periods, he must make a firm effort to maintain prayer, which, although it may give him the impression of a certain artifice, is in reality something completely different: it is precisely then that prayer constitutes an expression of his fidelity to God, in whose presence he wants to remain even though he is not rewarded by any subjective consolation ". Many days in which, in our struggle to be with the Lord, it seemed to us that the time passed without bearing fruit, perhaps before him it turned out to be a splendid prayer. The Lord always rewards us with his peace and his strength to fight all the battles before us. Let us never give up prayer. St. Teresa of Jesus, with her usual clarity, writes: "It seems to me nothing else to lose the way, but to leave prayer ". On more than a few occasions, it can be the most serious temptation that a soul who one day decided to follow Christ closely suffers: to abandon that daily dialogue with God because he believes that it does not bear fruit, because he considers other things more important, even apostolic undertakings..., and nothing is more important than that daily appointment, in which Jesus awaits us. At all costs," writes a spiritual author, "the determination to persevere in dedicating a suitable time daily to private prayer must be taken and fulfilled inflexibly. It does not matter if one can do no more than remain on one's knees during that time and fight with absolute lack of success against distractions: one is not wasting one's time ".  On the contrary, there is no time better gained than that which we have "lost" with the Lord.

Let us ask Our Lady's help today to teach us to treat her Son as she treated him in Nazareth and during his public life. And let us make the resolution not to make the mistake of ever abandoning prayer and not to allow voluntary distractions in that time when the Lord looks at us and listens to us so attentively.