Sixth Day

St. Dominic's Spirit of Prayer

"We ought always to pray, and not to faint" (Luke xviii. 1)

The wonderful sanctity to which St. Dominic attained was due to his continual prayer.  He, indeed, prayed always.  Like the apostle, he could well say this his conversation was in heaven.  Prayer was his life, his light, and his strength.  The spirit which in early youth made it his delight to serve at the altar, to visit the Blessed Sacrament, and to sing in the Office the praises of God, was the spirit of prayer.  From prayer he learned more than from books.  By prayer he accomplished more than by preaching or miracles.  When his eloquence, and the wonders which he worked, failed to convert the Albigensians, it was the prayer of the Rosary that overcame them.

Whole nights he passed in prayer.  On his journeys he prayed almost continually, often going aside from his companions that he might give himself to deeper contemplation.  His love of prayer, as it exalted him in sanctity, also obtained many gifts.  Often rapt in ecstasy, he learned in communion with God the most sublime truths.  He was rewarded with the gifts of prophecy and miracles, with a keen insight into the hearts of others, and with such persuasive and convincing powers that none could resist him.

Practice

Neglect of prayer is the great evil of many.  Without prayer even the sacraments will not produce their effects.  Hence so many who often receive the sacraments continue in their imperfections, because of the neglect of prayer.  Do we endeavor to cultivate a spirit of prayer?  Do we strive to fit ourselves for prayer?  Why are we so cold, so distracted?  Why do we love prayer so little?  Because we do not seek, like St. Dominic, to bring the Holy Ghost into our hearts.  We do not guard our senses; we do not learn that meekness and humility so necessary for efficacious prayer.  We do not protect the holy flame of devotion by spiritual reading judicious silence.  In these virtues St. Dominic excelled.  He is our father and our master.  Let us implore him to guide us in the way of prayer, to make us faithful imitators.  Remember his miracles effected by prayer.  Think now of his power in heaven -- much greater than when on earth.

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