Grace, Gratitude, and Prayer

It is clear that, if God has done so much to have us share in His own life, we must in turn respond to His advances, gratefully accept His gift, cherish and foster it in our souls and thus prepare ourselves for that eternal bliss which will crown the efforts we shall have made on earth. This is for us a duty of gratitude. Indeed, the most telling way in which we can show our appreciation of a gift is to use it for the purpose for which it was given. Our spiritual welfare itself demands that we make such a return, for Almighty God will reward us according to our merits, and our glory in heaven will correspond to the degree of grace we shall have acquired by good works: “Every man shall receive his own reward, according to his labor.” – The Spiritual Life, 190, Tanquery

“Give yourself again to Jesus, with a renewed desire to be faithful to him in the future to practice this virtue.”
—St. John Eudes

In it the soul considers and contemplates its Creator in his divine perfections, in his mysteries and in his works. It adores and blesses him, loves and glorifies him, gives itself to him, is brought low before him at the sight of its sins and ingratitude. It implores him to be merciful and learns to become like him by imitating his divine virtues and perfections. Finally, in prayer the soul asks for all the things necessary to serve and love God.

Prayer is a participation in the life of the angels and saints, in the life of Jesus Christ and of his most holy mother, even of the life of God and of the three divine Persons. For the life of the angels and saints, of Christ, and of his most holy Mother is nothing else but a continual practice of prayer and contemplation, in which their uninterrupted activity is to look upon God, to praise and love him, to ask him, on your behalf, for the things you need. And the existence of the three divine Persons is a perpetual contemplation, praise, and love of one another, which is accomplished first and foremost by prayer. —St. John Eudes, The Life and the Kingdom of Jesus in the Soul

This article is taken from Day 148 in Cultivating The Spiritual Life, which is available from TAN Books.



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