The Lenten season is a time to nurture one's prayer life. This week's reflection on persistence in prayer comes from St. Teresa of Avila:
To persist in prayer without returns, this is not time lost, but a great gain. It is an endeavor without thought of self and only for the glory of the Lord. Even though at first it seems that the effort is all in vain, it is not so, but it is as with children who work in their father's fields: They receive no daily wages, but when the year comes to an end, everything belongs to them....
He who sets out to pray must be as the herdsman. In the season of summer and fair weather, he (as the ant , too) must not grow weary, so that he may be fed in the season of winter and stormy rains. He must have a full larder so that he may live and not (like the dumb beasts) die of hunger. For we must be prepared for the great storm of death and judgment.
Do not let your heart cling to inner solace. For that is in the manner of common soldiers: They demand their daily wage at once. Give your service as the noblest officers serve their king - for nothing!
(This letter originally appeared in The Providence Visitor)