by Apostoli_Viae


Prayer and Mortification - The Path to the Mystical Garden of God

What does it mean when we say that mortification and prayer prepare the way for contemplation? An audio reflection (see above).

Here is the text from Divine Intimacy 143

Mortification frees the soul from every obstacle which might retard the growth of grace, which might hinder the soul's love for God and its flight toward Him; whereas prayer which consists essentially in intimate conversation with God feeds this love and quickens this flight. Mortification prepares a suitable place for a loving meeting with God; prayer effects this meeting, and by placing the soul in real contact with God, the source of living water, it quenches its thirst and reanimates it. It is in this sense that the saints, and particularly the contemplative saints, have always seen in the living water promised by Jesus, not only sanctifying grace, but also those special graces of light and love which are its consequences and which the soul attains to in prayer, in the moments of intimate contact with God. This light and love are not the fruit of the activity of the soul alone; but rather, God Himself by means of the actuation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, infuses them into the soul, causing it to acquire a completely new "sense" of God. This does not mean new ideas and concepts, but rather an experimental knowledge derived from love - especially from the love which God himself awakens in the soul. It means a profound "sense" of the divinity, by means of which the soul becomes aware - not by reasoning or demonstration, but more by way of experience - that God is so different from creatures, so unique, so great, that He truly deserves all the love of the heart.  This new way of loving God, this new experience of God and the divine things is really living water which quenches the soul's thirst. It is the living water of prayer, which, as a result of divine action, has now become deeper, more intimate, more contemplative; it is the living water of contemplation. This contemplation is a gift of God. "He gives it," says St. Teresa of Jesus, "when and as He wishes" (Life, 34). Although He offers it to all, in one form or another, He will grant it only to those souls who apply themselves generously to mortification and prayer.

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen
Divine Intimacy - Meditation 143 - Baronius Press


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  • Brian Rader

    Brian Rader

    This is a beautiful analogy and something I needed to hear. Thank you!
  • Lucy Nyakwera

    Lucy Nyakwera

    Very beautiful reflection... May God help me to give myself more to this wonderful gift of mortification
  • Cathy Trowbridge

    Cathy Trowbridge

    Wow did you hit home with this reflection today for me. Thank you. Much to sit with.
  • Diana von Glahn (AV1-M)

    Diana von Glahn (AV1-M)

    Thank you for this. I really needed to hear it.
  • Berkeley  Monroe (AV2)

    Berkeley Monroe (AV2)

    Powerful analogy. This caused me to reflect on the difference between “devotional” prayer and mental prayer...both coupled with mortifications. Do not get me wrong! I LOVE devotional prayer and find it very efficacious in my spiritual life, especially the rosary. However, in listening to this reflection seemed to be analogous to having someone else tend your garden, whereas, mental prayer and mortifications is the act of personally getting on ones knees, getting in the soil of my soul and pulling those weeds which mar God’s view of my soul. 🙏🏻
  • Christine Vorderbruggen

    Christine Vorderbruggen

    Thank you for encouragement. I appreciate it so much.
  • Malindia Lentz

    Malindia Lentz

    Thank you Dan. Great reflection and very helpful!
  • Cathy Fairbairn

    Cathy Fairbairn

    Thank you, Dan, for this meditation. There is a lot to contemplate here! God bless you!
  • Susan Gwyer

    Susan Gwyer

    Beautifully explained ! Thank you Dan
  • Mary Anderson

    Mary Anderson

    OHHH so beautiful a meditation. I was right there in that garden with God drinking in the beauty and tranquility that He offers us and also recognizing the weeds that like to take over and the need to get on my knees. Thank you!




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