In Chapter XII of the Second Part of An Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales explained one of the most important means for spiritual growth. He wrote, “Strive as often as possible through the day to place yourself in God’s presence by some one of the methods already suggested. Consider what God does, and what you are doing; you will see His eyes ever fixed upon you in love incomparable.” The four methods suggested by the saint for placing oneself in the presence of God are: first, realizing that God’s presence is universal; second, calling to mind that God is very specially present in our heart and mind; third, dwelling upon the thought of Christ looking down upon all people from heaven; fourth, picturing Jesus at our side.
St. Francis wrote, “When St. Catherine of Siena was deprived by her parents of any place or time for prayer and meditation, Our Lord inspired her with the thought of making a little interior oratory in her mind, into which she could retire in heart, and so enjoy a holy solitude amid her outward duties. And henceforward, when the world assaulted her, she was able to be indifferent, because, so she said, she could retire within her secret oratory, and find comfort with her Heavenly Bridegroom.” Having a spiritual retreat during the day is like having a drink on a journey. “When a pilgrim pauses an instant to take a draught of wine, which refreshes his lips and revives his heart, his onward journey is nowise hindered by the brief delay, but rather it is shortened and lightened, and he brings it all the sooner to a happy end, pausing but to advance the better.”
One simple way to pray during the day is with ejaculatory prayer. Pope John Paul II, in addressing the psalms, said that ancient monks used parts of the psalms as brief prayers “to release a special ‘energy’ of the Holy Spirit.” He added that this use of the psalms is known as “ejaculatory prayer,” which could be “let fly” like flaming arrows against temptations. Some examples of ejaculatory prayers are: “My God and my all!” “My God, I love you!” “My Jesus, mercy!” “Jesus, I trust in you!” “Mother of God, remember me,” and “Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!” Our Lord taught Sister Consolata Betrone (1903-1946) the beautiful prayer: “Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!” Our Lord said to her, “Tell me, what more beautiful prayer do you want to offer Me? ‘Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!’ Love and souls! What more beautiful prayer could you desire?” “Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!’ encompasses everything, the souls in purgatory and the souls in the Church Militant; the innocent soul and the guilty soul; the dying, the atheist, etc.” “Do not lose time; remember that every act of love is a soul. Of all the gifts, the best gift you can offer Me is a day full of love. I desire an uninterrupted ‘Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!’ from when you get up in the morning till when you go to bed at night.” Our aspirations to God during the day need not be confined to words. Prayer can be raising our mind to God without words. St. Francis encouraged the faithful to pray to God in their own words, and to see God through daily events, things and people. The Norms for Indulgences states: “A partial indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, while performing their duties and enduring the difficulties of life, raise their minds in humble trust to God and make, at least mentally, some pious invocation.”
「『耶穌、瑪利亞，我愛您！求您拯救眾靈！』包含了一切：煉獄裡的靈魂、世途中教會的靈魂、潔淨的靈魂和帶罪的靈魂；臨終者、無神論者，等等… 不要費時失事，每一個發的愛德，都能救靈。妳能奉獻給我所有獻禮中，最能鍾悅我者，莫過於充滿愛的一天。我希望妳無間斷地誦唸『耶穌、瑪利亞，我愛您！求您拯救眾靈！』—— 從晨起暮休。」