Prayer: The Key to Salvation!

August 21st, 2011 by admin

St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church, insisted on prayer as the key to salvation. This great saint asserted: “He who prays much will be saved, but he who does not pray will be damned.” Even the worse sinner in the world, if he turned to prayer, then he could be saved. Remember the “Good Thief” who at the very end of his life, he turned to Jesus and talked to Him (that was his prayer) and he was saved. Jesus assured him with these consoling words: “Amen I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” St. Augustine coined this pithy saying, that we should all memorize, “He who prays well, lives well, he who lives well dies well, and he who dies well, all is well.” The tone of our life and the end our life will depend on how well or how poorly we have prayed. All the saints agree that prayer is indispensable for conversion, purification, sanctification, perseverance, and eternal salvation.

Therefore, being convinced of this all-important, eternal truth, we should all make a concerted effort to learn to pray, to dedicate ourselves to prayer and strive to grow in prayer. Here are three simple suggestions:

First, give time. Decide now that you will give the Lord some specific time every day to prayer. Archbishop Fulton Sheen, known for his eloquence on TV, radio and writings, would give the first hour of his day to the Lord, praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. He called it his “Hour of Power”. Avoid the “Cain complex” – giving the Lord your “leftovers”. Rather, be like Abel in giving the Lord your best in giving Him prayer

Second, the Word of God. Jesus said that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes for the mouth of God. As your primary source of prayer read, mediate, ponder the Word of God, in imitation of Mary who pondered the word of God in her heart. Give preference to the Gospel, which is the very heart of the Bible where we encounter the Word of Jesus and the Person of Jesus Himself.

Third, the Rosary. This is the prayer that warms the heart of Mary; it is the prayer that the Popes recommend and pray; it is the joy of the saints. This is a prayer that incorporates vocal, mental and contemplative prayer. Our Lady of Fatima told us six times to pray the Rosary.

Read slowly and prayerfully these encouraging words of St. Peter of Alcantara:

“In mental prayer the souls is purified from its sins, nourished with charity, confirmed in faith, and strengthened in hope; the mind expands, the affections dilate, the heart is purified, truth becomes evident, temptation is conquered, sadness is dispelled; the senses are renovated, the drooping powers revive, tepidity ceases; the rust of vices disappears. Out of mental prayer issue forth, like living sparks, those desires of heaven which the soul conceives when inflamed with the fire of divine love. Sublime is the excellence of mental prayer, great are its privileges; to mental prayer heaven is opened; to mental prayer heavenly secrets are manifested and the ear of God is ever attentive.”

In conclusion, if we want to grow in our spiritual life, overcome sin, grow in holiness and persevere in God’s grace til the end and reach heaven then clearly we must learn how to pray, grow in prayer and hopefully die praying.

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