St. John Vianney and Prayer

Meditation One

What is prayer? St. John Vianney teaches us some powerful things about prayer. This is the first in a series of reflections on his instructions about prayer.

We have only two duties: to pray and to love. Think of that! There are only two things you must do in your life. And, in one sense, these two things are one. I remember that St. Therese once said that if anyone asked you at any moment what you are doing your response should be, “I love.” Everything you do should be an action of love. And every action of love reaches out to others and up to God. Reaching up to God is prayer.

Every prayer you make should be an act of love. It should come from the heart. If it doesn’t reach up and out, it is not prayer.

Perhaps throughout the day, you could pause and ask yourself this question, “What are you doing?” If your answer isn’t, “I love,” you’ll need to stop doing what you are doing if it can’t be transformed. But probably you just need to look up to God and reach out to others. Now your action has become prayer, an offering acceptable to our loving Father.