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Contemplative prayer can help us put our faith into action

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Philip Kosloski - published on 04/04/24

While contemplative prayer might seem passive, it can also fuel us, propelling us forward in our charitable works.

We can be tempted to think that prayer does not affect our actions, and that if we are praying, we are not responding to Jesus’ command to feed the poor or comfort the sick.

However, prayer, especially contemplative prayer, can be a powerful catalyst in our charitable works.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this aspect of prayer:

Contemplative prayer is a union with the prayer of Christ insofar as it makes us participate in his mystery. The mystery of Christ is celebrated by the Church in the Eucharist, and the Holy Spirit makes it come alive in contemplative prayer so that our charity will manifest it in our acts.

CCC 2718

Mother Teresa understood this reality and put it into practice in her life.

She gave a powerful speech to those assembled for the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia in 1976, and reiterated this simple fact:

To be able to live this life of vows, these four vows, we need our life to be woven with the Eucharist. That’s why we begin our day with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. With him, we go forward. And when we come back in the evening we have one hour of adoration before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and at this you will be surprised, that we have not had to cut down our work for the poor.

In fact, she firmly believed that she could love the poor more, because of her time in adoration:

It has brought us so close to each other. We love each other better, but I think we love the poor with greater and deeper faith and love.

If we want to love the poor more and be more active in the faith, we need to devote time to contemplative prayer.

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