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Entering into the Prayer of Christ


We must pray incessantly for the gift of perseverance.

neri Saint Philip Neri

We must not leave off our prayers because of distractions and restlessness of mind, although it seems useless to go on with them.  He who perseveres for the whole of his accustomed time, gently recalling his mind to the subject of his prayer, merits greatly.

If in times of dryness in prayer we make acts of humility, self-knowledge, protestations of our own inability to help ourselves, and petitions for God's assistance, all this is real and substantial prayer.  The best remedy for dryness of spirit is to picture ourselves as beggars in the presence of God and the saints, and like a beggar, to go first to one saint, then to another, to ask a spiritual alms of them with the same earnestness as a poor fellow in the streets would ask an alms of us.  We may ask a spiritual alms even corporally, by going first to the Church of one saint, and then to the Church of another, to make our petition.

Without prayer, a man will not persevere long in spirituality; we must have recourse to this most powerful means of salvation every day….  We must never trust ourselves, for it is the devil's way first to get us to feel secure, and then to make us fall!… Our sweet Christ, the Word Incarnate, has given himself to us for everything that was necessary for us, even to the hard and ignominious death upon the cross….  We need to pray for the grace to love Jesus not out of fear but out of love.



Saint Philip Neri. "Entering into the Prayer of Christ." The Maxims of St. Philip Neri (Herefordshire, England: Gracewing Press, 1994 ).

Reprinted under a fair use provision. 

The Author

neriauthorSaint Philip Neri known as the Second Apostle of Rome, after Saint Peter, was an Italian priest noted for founding a society of secular clergy called the Congregation of the Oratory. Philip possessed a playful sense of humour, combined with a shrewd wit. Among books of his saying is  If God Be with Us: The Maxims of St Philip Neri.

Copyright © 1994 Gracewing
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