Thought for the Day – 4 August – The Memorial of St John Vianney (1786-1859)
“My little children, reflect on these words:
the Christian’s treasure is not on earth but in heaven.
Our thoughts, then, ought to be directed to where out treasure is.
This is the glorious duty of man – to pray and to love.
If you pray and love, that is where a man’s happiness lies.
Prayer is nothing else but union with God. In this intimate union, God and the soul are fused together like two bits of wax that no one can every pull apart. This union of god with a tiny creature is a lovely thing. It is a happiness beyond understanding.
My little children, your hearts, are small but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God.
Through prayer we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us.
Prayer never leaves us without sweetness. It is honey that flows into the souls and makes all things sweet.
When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun. Some men immerse themselves as deeply in prayer as fish in water, because they give themselves totally to God. O, how I love these noble souls! How unlike them we are! How often we come to church with no idea of what to do or what to ask for. And yet, whenever we go to any human being, we know well enough why we go.
And still worse, there are some who seem to speak to the good God like this: “I will only say a couple of things to You and then I will be rid of You.”
I often think that when we come to adore the Lord, we would receive everything we ask for, if we would ask with living faith and with a pure heart.
Prayer is the inner bath of love into which the soul plunges itself.”
– from the catechetical instructions by Saint John Vianney
St John Marie Baptiste Vianney, the poor boy from Dardilly, ordained a priest “through compassion” and in charge of an isolated parish, the one who prepared himself to die every day: because of the strange logic of God who chooses the little to depose the mighty, it was this man who became a teacher and model even for the Popes who sit on the Chair of Peter, who are inspired by him and hold him up for emulation to the entire Church. We must make ourselves ‘little’ in prayer, in total self-giving to God!