St. John Vianney (1786-1859) ON PRAYER

Prayer is to our soul what rain is to the soil. 
Fertilize the soil ever so richly, it will remain barren unless fed by frequent rains.
Prayer is the inner bath of love into which the soul plunges itself.

If we really loved the good God, 
we should make it our joy and happiness 
to come and spend a few moments to adore Him, and 
ask Him for the grace of forgiveness; 
and we should regard those moments as the happiest of our lives.
Man is a beggar who needs to ask God for everything.

Private prayer is like straw scattered here and there: 
If you set it on fire it makes a lot of little flames. 
But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, 
and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky; 
public prayer is like that.

A Prayer by St. John Vianney
 I love You, O my God,
and my only desire is to love You
until the last breath of my life.

I love You, O my infinitely lovable God,
and I would rather die loving You,
than live without loving You.

I love You, Lord
and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally.

My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You,
I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.

This image was taken from the Geograph project collection. See this photograph’s page on the Geograph website for the photographer’s contact details. The copyright on this image is owned by John Salmon and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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3 Responses to St. John Vianney (1786-1859) ON PRAYER

  1. Here is the saint, the patron of all priests, who once said that if we truly grasped the significance of the Eucharist, the joy would kill us!

  2. Kelly Rose says:

    Interesting analogies. I think I’m starting to get it, or more importantly, feel it. I can only pray if I’m reciting another’s prayer. I still feel stupid trying to pray on my own, like I felt as a child forced into the confession booth. What do you say? Baby steps. And prayer of adoration? Now that’s a thought! I’m the beggar down on my knees with no where else to turn, for the most part. But even that desperate act suggests spiritual recognition at its most primal … and begs forgiveness for all the times I’ve cursed god? Lord help me Jesus,

  3. Anne Comeaux says:

    John Vianney usually gives me hope. But this prayer is so profound that I find myself wondering how God could ever hear me in light of Vianney’s prayer. Wow! Would I really rather die than not love God? Never thought of that.

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