Prayer must be associated with works of
I have said a lot on this subject elsewhere,(Way of
Perfection VII) because I see, Sisters, that if we fail in love of neighbour we
are lost. May it please the Lord that this will never be so; for if you do not
fail, I tell you that you shall receive from His Majesty the union that was
mentioned. When you see yourselves lacking in this love, even though you have
devotion and gratifying experiences that make you think you have reached this
stage, and you experience some little suspension in the prayer of quiet (for to
some it then appears that everything has been accomplished), believe me you have
not reached union. And beg our Lord to give you this perfect love of neighbour.
Let His Majesty have a free hand, for He will give you more than you know how to
desire because you are striving and making every effort to do what you can about
this love. And force your will to do the will of your Sisters in everything even
though you may lose your rights; forget your own good for their sakes no matter
how much resistance your nature puts up; and, when the occasion arises, strive
to accept work yourself so as to relieve your neighbour of it. Don't think that
it won't cost you anything or that you will find everything done for you. Look
at what our Spouse's love for us cost Him; in order to free us from death, He
died that most painful death of the cross."
St. Therese of Jesus, Doctor of the Church: The Interior Castle, Dwelling places V,3.11-12
O God, You have shown through the example of St. Therese of Jesus how much You desire humble prayer and efficacious charity, grant us to serve You in faithful prayer and loving solicitude for our sisters and brothers of every race and continent. We ask You this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord……. Amen.
By Ateneo Pontificio "Regina Apostolorum"