Prayer and apostolate

The Lord wants us to be his instruments to make his redemptive work present in the midst of secular tasks, in ordinary life. But how can we be good instruments of God without a life of piety, without a truly personal relationship with Christ in prayer? Can one blind man lead another blind man, and will they not both fall into the precipice?11. The apostolate is the fruit of love for Christ. He is the Light with which we illuminate, the Truth that we must teach, the Life that we communicate. And this will only be possible if we are men and women united to God by prayer. It is moving to contemplate how the Lord, in the midst of so much apostolic activity, gets up very early in the morning, when it is still dark, to dialogue with his Father God and entrust to him the new day that is beginning, also full of attention to souls.

We must imitate him: it is in prayer, in our dealings with Jesus, that we learn to understand, to remain joyful, to attend to and appreciate the people whom the Lord places on our path. Without prayer, the Christian would be like a plant without roots: it ends up withered, without the possibility of bearing fruit in a short time. In our day we can and should turn to the Lord many times. He is not far away: he is near us, at our side, and he always hears us, but particularly in those moments - like now - that we dedicate expressly to speak, without anonymity, face to face, with God. To the extent that we open ourselves to divine requests, the journey will be divinely effective and we will find it easier not to interrupt the dialogue with Jesus. In truth, our life as apostles is worth whatever our prayer is worth.

Prayer always bears fruit; it is capable of sustaining a whole life. From it we will draw the strength to face difficulties with the panache of the children of God. And for the perseverance - the constancy in dealing with our friends - that every apostolate requires. For this reason our friendship with Christ must be deeper and more sincere day by day. For this we must earnestly strive to avoid all deliberate sin, to keep our heart for God, to try to reject useless thoughts, which often give rise to faults and sins, to rectify our intentions many times, directing our being and our works to the Lord.... We must fight against the discouragement - if it ever comes - that can arise when we think that we are not improving in personal prayer, for then it is easy for the devil to insinuate the temptation to abandon it. We should never give it up, even if we are tired and cannot fully focus our attention, even if we have no affection, even if - unwillingly - many distractions come our way. Prayer is the support of our life and the condition of every apostolate.

At the end of this time of prayer, we turn to the powerful intercession of St. Joseph, master of the interior life. We ask him, who for so many years lived next to Jesus, to teach us to love him and to turn to him with confidence all the days of our lives, even those that seem to be more crowded with work and in which we feel it is more difficult to dedicate to him the time of prayer that we are accustomed to. Our Holy Mother Mary will intercede, together with the Holy Patriarch, for us.

Hablar con Dios