“O Lord, do not remove your protecting hand from Philip today or he will betray Thee.” Such was the way St. Philip Neri would begin his day. Saint Philip Neri knew that, in himself, he had no power to be faithful to the Lord, but had only an inclination to abandon Him. So, what did the Saint do? He gave himself to the Lord without reserve, in order to secure his salvation.
Do we do this? When we feel a need within ourselves for something beyond our current worldly comforts, something beyond our current satisfaction with life, something beyond anything this world can provide, what do we do? Where do we turn?
When I look at Facebook, I see tons of videos posted about emotional powerful stories. When I have watched them, it caused a reaction within me which was strong, stirring, and distracting. For the moment, it seemed like it had taken me above my disquietude about life. But, when the video closed, I was left as alone as I was before – perhaps even a little emptier than before.
Why? – because I invested some of myself in the story, hoping that my empathy for the event would cause me to benefit in some way from the perhaps happy ending. Instead, the video was an illusion, a mirage, a lie, a deception, a false reality. When the video closed, I lost that part of myself that I invested, and was emptier than before.
Instead, what must we do? Must we pray the Rosary? Yes, but do we say, “I don’t know how.” Well, we know how, but we tend to drift away in our thoughts, or drift off into sleep. We don’t seem to benefit from it.
Perhaps there is a key to prayer? Something that unlocks your meditations and locks you into the sacred mystery on which you reflect? Something in which you can invest yourself, and which will give back to you upon its conclusion.
Yes, this is prayer; this is resting with the Lord throughout the day. This is what secured St. Philip Neri in his desire to be faithful to Our Lord. We must not sit idly in our days, immersed in passing emotions. God is beyond emotions, though He works in and with them as well. Do not seek God in emotions, though. Seek Him in Truth. Pray, truly, to Him and thinking of Him. This will secure your fidelity to Him and bring you that happiness that you seek.
We will discuss the key to prayer in our next post. Stay tuned.