We can often feel intimidated by the lives of the saints, especially their prayer lives. They appear to be “giants” in the spiritual life and we may think to ourselves that we could never be like them.
The good news is that saints were, in many ways, just like us and many of them didn’t pray grandiose prayers. Often the greatest saints led the simplest prayer lives.
Take, for example, St. Catherine Laboure. While she was granted an extraordinary vision of the Virgin Mary, she describes her own prayer life in simple terms.
Whenever I go to the chapel, I put myself in the presence of our good Lord, and I say to him, Lord I am here. Tell me what you would have me to do. If he gives me some task, I am content and I thank him. If he gives me nothing, I still thank him since I do not deserve to receive anything more than that.
And then, I tell God everything that is in my heart. I tell him about my pains and joys, and then I listen. If you listen, God will also speak to you, for with the good Lord, you have to both speak and listen. God always speaks to you when you approach him plainly and simply.
How simple is that!
God desires a “contrite heart” above all things and favors a fervent prayer of the heart, however simple it may be.
The next time you sit down to pray, consider following St. Catherine Laboure’s example, not overcomplicating things and putting yourself into the hands of God.
You never know what might happen when you pray like a saint!