In the past few weeks, we’ve reflected a number of times on prayer – developing a prayer life, prayer as a skill and habit, ways to keep our prayer sharp, etc. But, one thought we haven’t touched on yet is this: Prayer is lifelong.
There’s an expression you’ll often here in the Catholic Church called Final Perseverance. It refers to the preservation of the state of grace till the end of life.
“Whoever endures to the end will be saved.” Matt 10:22
A major part of Final Perseverance is preserving our prayer life our whole lives. And, specifically for our prayer, we can reflect on Matthew’s words: endure.
In other words, it won’t always be sunshine and rainbows. Our prayer life will dry up at times. The consolation will leave us and our prayer experience will be one of desolation. But, our task is not to maintain a prayer life until it’s not easy or until it’s not beneficial – it’s to make it to the end.
“Come what may, happen what will, let those complain who will, tire yourself as you must, but even if you die half-way along the road… tend always toward the goal.” St. Teresa of Avila
Might as well get it in our heads now, prayer is lifelong.