“First of all, interior life. How few really understand this! If they hear about the interior life, they imagine some obscure temple. For more than a quarter of a century I have been saying that such isn't the case. I talk about the interior life of ordinary Christians who habitually find themselves in the hubbub of the city, in the light of day, in the street, at work, with their families or simply relaxing; they are centred on Jesus all day long. And what is this except a life of continuous prayer? Isn't it true that you have seen the need to become a soul of prayer, to reach an intimacy with God that leads to divinization? Such is the Christian faith as always understood by souls of prayer — ‘A man becomes God,’ writes Clement of Alexandria, ‘because he loves whatever God loves.’
“At first it will be more difficult. You must make an effort to seek out the Lord, to thank him for his fatherly and practical concern for us. Although it is not a question of sentiment, little by little the love of God makes itself felt like a rustle in the soul. It is Christ who pursues us lovingly: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.’ How is your life of prayer going? At times don't you feel during the day the impulse to speak more at length with him? Don't you then whisper to him that you will tell him all about it later, in a heart-to-heart conversation?
“Prayer then becomes continuous, like the beating of our heart, like our pulse. Without this presence of God, there is no contemplative life. And without contemplative life, our working for Christ is worth very little, for vain is the builder's toil if the house is not of the Lord's building.”
Christ is passing by, 8
“You don't know what to say to our Lord in your prayer. You can't think of anything, and yet you would like to consult him on many things. Look: make some notes during the day of whatever you want to consider in the presence of God. And then take these notes with you to pray.”
The Way, 97
“A life of prayer and penance, together with an awareness of our divine filiation, transforms us into Christians whose piety is truly deep. We become little children at the feet of God. Piety is the virtue of children. And if the child is to take refuge in the arms of his father, he must be, and know that he is, small, needy. I have often meditated on this life of spiritual childhood, which is not incompatible with fortitude, because it demands a strong will, proven maturity, an open and firm character.
“To work in this way is to pray. To study thus is likewise prayer. Research done with this spirit is prayer too. We are always doing the same thing, for everything can be prayer, all activity can and should lead us to God, nourish our intimate dealings with him, from morning to night. Any honourable work can be prayer and all prayerful work is apostolate. In this way the soul develops a unity of life, which is both simple and strong.”
Christ is passing by, 10