Why mental prayer?
Here are a few reasons why we should practice mental prayer according to some saints:
Saint Alphonsus Liguori
“Mental prayer is the blessed furnace in which souls are inflamed with the love of God. All the saints have become saints by mental prayer.”
“It is morally impossible for him who neglects meditation to live without sin.”
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
“… a way of preparing and disposing a soul to rid itself of all inordinate attachments and, after their removal, of seeking and finding the will of God in the dispositions of our life for the salvation of our soul.”
“We must never forget that we are bound to perfection and should aim ceaselessly for it. The practice of mental prayer is necessary to reach that goal. Because it is the breath of life for our soul, holiness is impossible without it.”
Saint Peter of Alcantara
In mental prayer, the soul is purified from its sins, nourished with charity, confirmed in faith, and strengthened in hope; the mind expands, the affections dilate, the heart is purified, truth becomes evident; temptation is conquered, sadness dispelled; the senses are renovated; the drooping powers revive; tepidity ceases; the rust of vices disappears. Out of mental prayer issue forth, like living sparks, those desires of heaven which the soul conceives when inflamed with the fire of divine love. Sublime is the excellence of mental prayer, great are its privileges; to mental prayer heaven is opened; to mental prayer heavenly secrets are manifested and the ear of God is ever attentive.”
Why each one prays is a personal matter, but this desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 27).
This desire for God is written in our hearts.
Mental prayer is one of the most important ways grow spiritually. And quickly! More than that, it is one of the most powerful ways to find God, know him, and start a life with Him, and find joy consequently.
As Saint Alphonsus Liguori said: “All the saints have become saints by mental prayer.”
All the saints have become saints by mental prayer. It is quite a strong statement.
In this prayer we listen attentively to the words that God has already spoken. If you read the bible and meditate upon it, it resonates in you and gives you a message: understanding about God’s will and God himself. This can ultimately drive your actions throughout your life.
The Holy scriptures are alive, a text can tell you something one day, another day, the same words may give you comfort, or hope. Since you are opening yourself to God’s words, he is talking directly to you, giving you different meanings to His words. If you are treasuring God’s words, and trying to live according to them, you are showing God that you love him, and you accept His love to you.
We pray because it is a trusted way to grow the relationship with God and open ourselves to his love, which will transform us back to the amazing creature God planned us to be, accepting His plan of love. Living this plan is the only thing that can give a real meaning for our lives and complete joy.
John 14, 9-11 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
So, why mental prayer?
We pray to live this loving relationship with God.