And in praying, do not use many words, as the Gentiles do, who think that by their loquacity they will be heard, the Lord tells us in the Gospel of the Mass1. 1 He wants to remove his disciples from the mistaken vision of many Jews of his time, who thought that long vocal prayers were necessary for God to listen to them; and he teaches them to treat God with the simplicity with which a son speaks to his father. Vocal prayer is very pleasing to God, but it must be true prayer: the words must express the feeling of the heart. It is not enough to recite mere formulas, for God does not want only an external worship, he wants our intimacy.
Vocal prayer is a simple and effective means, indispensable, adequate to our way of being, to maintain the presence of God during the day, to manifest our love and our needs. As we read in the Gospel of the Mass, Our Lord wanted to leave us the vocal prayer par excellence, the Our Father, in which, in a few words, he summarizes all that man can ask of God3. Throughout the centuries this prayer has gone up to God, filling countless souls with hope and consolation, in the most disparate situations and moments.
To neglect vocal prayer would mean a great impoverishment of the spiritual life. On the contrary, when these prayers, sometimes very short but full of love, are appreciated, the path of contemplation of God in the midst of work or in the street is greatly facilitated. "We begin with vocal prayers, which many of us have repeated as children: they are ardent and simple phrases, addressed to God and to his Mother, who is our Mother. Still, in the mornings and evenings, not just one day, but usually, I renew that offering that my parents taught me: O my Lady, O my Mother, I offer myself entirely to you. And, in proof of my filial affection, I consecrate to you this day my eyes, my ears, my tongue, my heart? Is this not - in a way - a principle of contemplation, an evident demonstration of trusting abandonment (...).
"First an ejaculatory, and then another, and another..., until this fervor seems insufficient, because the words turn out to be poor...: and one gives way to the divine intimacy, in a look at God without rest and without fatigue". And St. Teresa, like all the saints, knew well this way, accessible to all, to reach the Lord: "I know," the Saint affirmed, "that many people, praying vocally (...), God raises them, without them knowing how, to higher contemplation.
Let us think today about the interest we put into our vocal prayers, in their frequency throughout the day, in the necessary pauses so that what we say to the Lord are not "mere words that come one after the other. Let us meditate on the necessity of the small effort we have to make to keep away from our prayers the routine, which would soon mean the death of true devotion, of true love. Let us see to it that every ejaculatory, every vocal prayer is an act of love.
Hablar con Dios