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The Ways of Mental Prayer
by Rt. Rev. Abbot Dom Vitalis Lehodey, O.C.R.
by Rt. Rev. Abbot Dom Vitalis Lehodey, O.C.R.
The Ways of Mental Prayer ranks as one of the Church s greatest classics on prayer and was highly recommended as such by Fr. Garrigou-LaGrange, the 20th Century s greatest authority on mystical theology.
Here Dom Lehodey, Abbot of Bricquebec, concentrates on the beginning stages of prayer, up through what is called the prayer of quiet, but he also describes the higher forms of prayer as well, including the very summit, or the prayer of union. In the process, he explains the advantages, the joys and—yes— the trials of mental prayer, plus he gives practical instructions on the methods of practicing this type of prayer.
He also shows what to avoid and how to overcome the difficulties involved. By far the salient strength of this book is its description of how one goes from ordinary prayer to mystical prayer, which constitutes the giant step in spiritual life. A wise and learned guide to spiritual matters, The Ways of Mental Prayer is a work destined to lead many to divine intimacy—a foretaste of Heaven on earth.
About the Author:
Rt. Reverend Dom Vitalis Lehodey, O.C.R., admitted in his preface to Holy Abandonment that many other books on the subject have already been written. He went on to say, however, that every author who wrote on the spiritual life naturally discussed the topic of Conformity to God's Will. His intent with Holy Abandonment was to provide a work both theoretic and practical to offer a solution to the problems of our times. Dom Lehodey also expressed his mission to contribute something, even if it were little, to the ineffable glory of God. The book was originally published in 1934 and received the Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur and Imprimi Potest from Fathers Daly and Smets as well as from the Bishop of Waterford in the 1930s.
Item No: 0095
Publisher: Saint Benedict Press, LLC
Imprint: TAN Books
Publication Year: 2009
Dimensions: 5.25' x 8" x 0.90"
Sources: TANBooks (front inside covers of Holy Abandonment)
Excerpt from this Book:
"In the spiritual life, there are two great principles which should never be forgotten: Without grace, we can do nothing; with it, we can do all things. Sometimes it anticipates our desires; ordinarily, God waits till we ask for it. This is a general law thus expressed by Our Lord: 'Ask, and it shall be given to you.' Prayer is, therefore, not only a precept, it is a necessity. God places the treasure of His graces at our disposal, and its key is prayer. You desire more faith, more hope, more love; 'ask, and it shall be given to you.' Your good resolutions remain sterile, resulting always in the same failures: 'Ask, and it shall be given to you'. Precepts are numerous, virtue painful, temptation seductive, the enemy ruthless, the will weak: 'Ask, and it shall be given to you.'"
— Rev. Dom Vitalis Lehodey p. xv
"Prayer, considered as
, consists entirely in expressing to God some desire in order that He may hear it favorably; a real desire is, therefore, its primary and essential condition; without this, we are merely moving the lips, going through a form of words which is not the expression of our will; and thus our prayer is only an appearance without reality. The way, then, to excite ourselves to pray, to put life and fervor into our prayer, and to make of it a cry which, breaking forth from the depths of the soul, penetrates even to heaven, is to conceive the real desire mentioned above, to excite it, to cherish it; for the fervor of our prayer will be in proportion to the strength of the desire we have to be heard; just as what we have but little at heart we ask for only in a half-hearted way, if even we ask it at all; so what we desire with our whole soul we ask for with words of fire, and plead for it before God with an eloquence that is very real."
— Rev. Dom Lehody, p. 4-5
"If you would suffer from patience the adversities and miseries of this life, be a man of prayer. If you would obtain courage and strength to conquer the temptations of the enemy, be a man of prayer. If you would mortify your own will with all its inclinations and appetites, be a man of prayer. If you would know the wiles of Satan and unmask his deceits, be a man of prayer. If you would live in joy and walk pleasantly in the ways of penance, be a man of prayer. If you would banish from your soul the troublesome flies of vain thoughts and cares, be a man of prayer. If you would nourish your soul with the very sap of devotion, and keep it always full of good thoughts and good desires, be a man of prayer. If you would strengthen and keep up your courage in the ways of God, be a man of prayer. In fine, if you would uproot all vices from your soul and plant all virtues in their place, be a man of prayer. It is in prayer that we receive the unction and grace of the Holy Ghost,
who teaches all things."
— St. Bonaventure, p. 25-26
"No human motive should lead us to pray: neither routine, nor the habit of doing as others do, nor a thirst for spiritual consolations. No, we should go to prayer to render homage to God. It is not, however, a common-place visit of propriety, nor a conversation without any precise object; we want to obtain from Him some definite spiritual good, such or such progress in the uprooting of some vice, in the acquisition of some virtue. We have, therefore, a purpose upon which we are bent, and all our considerations, affections, petitions, and resolutions should combine for its attainment. God is there, surrounding us and penetrating us; but we were not, perhaps, thinking of this. We must, therefore, withdraw our powers from the things of the earth, gather them together, and fix them upon God; thus it is we place ourselves in His presence. Naturally, we approach Him by saluting Him with a profound and humble act of adoration. In presence of so much greatness and holiness, the soul perceives herself to belittle and miserable; she humbles herself, purifies herself by an act of sorrow; apologizes for daring to approach a being of so lofty a majesty. Powerless to pray as she should, she represents her incapacity to God, and begs the Holy Ghost to help her to pray well."
— Rev. Dom Vitalis Lehodey, p. 91