The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Prayer is the Measure of Love

It is a striking remark, ascribed to St. Augustine, that prayer is the measure of love. A remark, which implies that those who love much will pray much; and that those who pray much will love much. This remark is not more scripturally than philosophically true. It is the nature of love to lead the person who exercises this passion, as if were, out of himself. His heart is continually attracted toward the beloved object. He naturally and necessarily exercises, in connection with the object of love, the communion of the affections. And this, it will be readily seen, viz.: the communion of the affections, is the essential characteristic; and perhaps it may be said, the essence and sum of prayer. In acceptable prayer the soul goes forth to God in various acts of adoration, supplication, and thanksgiving; all of which imply feelings of trust and confidence, and particularly love to him who is the object of prayer. Accordingly he, who loves much, cannot help praying much. And on the other hand, when the streams of holy communion with God fail in any considerable degree, it is a sure sign that there is a shallowness and drought in that fountain of love, from which they have their source.

Religious Maxims (1846) XXXIX.

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