Rosa Mystica: A Commonplace Book

Rosa Mystica: A Commonplace Book

"Be attentive to his presence in those who need our love"

Lack of love for our neighbor, shutting our hearts to their needs, voluntarily nurturing resentment or bitterness toward someone, refusal to forgive—these things can render our prayer sterile, and we need to be aware of it. By contrast, acts of mercy and kindness toward neighbor redound to the benefit of our relationship with God, especially in our prayer. …

If we are able to discern Jesus’ presence in our brothers and sisters, we will find it easier to discover him also in our prayer. And the opposite is also true. Times of dryness, absence of perceptible joy in prayer, can sometimes be a call to look for God’s presence elsewhere, especially in acts of charity. This does not mean we should give up praying, but that Jesus is also waiting for us somewhere else and we need to be more attentive to his presence in those who need our love, especially the poor and the little ones. Let’s not forget either that there are sometimes illusions in prayer, but not in charity. We find God conclusively when we are taking care of our neighbor.

Fr. Jacques Philippe, Thirsting for Prayer