Prayer is the light of the soul
Sunday morning, I was struck by the cry of the psalmist: “Oh send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me, let them bring me to thy holy hill and to thy dwelling!”1 This is the petition of one who wants the Lord to lead him into intimacy in prayer. It humbly recognizes that God’s light and God’s truth are necessary to lead us. It acknowledges the object of our hope—to reach God’s dwelling place in heaven. Indeed, this is the petition of one who wants to enter into the second conversion that marks the entry into the illuminative way.
Docility to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit is necessary to move forward into the illuminative way. “To be docile to the Holy Spirit, we must first hear His voice.”2 Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle is not conducive to listening. There are a number of ways that we must predispose ourselves to docility to the Holy Spirit, including stillness, but a key one is to ask “unceasingly for the light and strength of the Holy Ghost to accomplish the will of God.”3
If we want to be people of light, we need to be people of prayer.
The story of creation begins with “God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.”5 It is God that creates light. God sends light into the soul by His decree. Although we can dispose our soul to receive the light, we must ask for it.
Whether we are facing darkness in our society, darkness in our family, or darkness in ourselves, it is only the light of Christ shining in the darkness that will defeat it.9
What are you waiting for? Now is the time to pray.10
“Jesus said to them, ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.’”11
I encourage you to be a person of prayer, that you would be a person of light. We need beacons of light today. I pray for the light of the Holy Spirit to shine upon you, to give you strength to accomplish the will of God in your life, to lead you higher in prayer and closer in intimacy with the Lord, that one day you will be united to Him in His holy dwelling.
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Vol. 2, Garrigou-Lagrange, The Three Ages of the Interior Life, at 233 (1948).
Id. at 235.
John 8:12, RSV-CE (“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”).
John 12:46, RSV-CE (“I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”).
John 1:4-5, RSV-CE (“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”).