With the faith, the healing word of God, the forgiveness of sins and the healing power of the sacraments, man is increasingly called out of his lostness into the proximity of God, and Gods healing and strengthening presence in the soul of man unfold the new life of God in him. This new life, which now re-creates the image of God in man, needs daily food so that it can grow and mature. God gives us this food in the ways we have already considered and it is nourished in particular by a life of prayer.
Saint Teresa of Avila, a Master of Inner Prayer, calls prayer the great conversation with God. Through prayer our soul aligns herself with God. God Himself calls us to prayer, it is the Holy Spirit who is leading us ever deeper into prayer.
The praying person, whereby the most different ways of prayer give different manifestations of God, is led out of his inner isolation and experiences the loving presence of the Lord more and more naturally.
Prayer becomes an inner conversation of love with God, restoring trust and the constant connection to God. It is precisely the restoration of trust in God that becomes a deep healing event for the human heart, for the loss and limitation of trust is a grave disruption of the God-given relationship between God and the soul.
If fear and distrust dominate man, then his soul is in darkness. This is true both in relation to God and to the neighbor. These feelings even threaten man completely and the more they are effective, the more they make life gloomy, barren and joyless.
Now the right prayer, which consciously brings these feelings to God and calls for deliverance, allows the Holy Spirit to touch them. Through the touches, the negative feelings are weakened and when we ask for trust in God at the same time, then the soul frees herself from the grip of her negative feelings.
Prayer life is not at first place an obligation that is imposed on us, so that we do not forget God, honor Him and protect us from evil. It is stronger an invitation to cultivate an intimate love relationship with God and to get to know him better and love him. God Himself can communicate with us more and more in prayer and draw our soul to Himself. For the sake of the freedom of love, prayer should not be subject to unfruitful inner compulsion, but it does of course require discipline, which helps us not to be exposed to the fluctuations of our nature.
Getting to know prayer as a care for the love relationship with God frees us from many constraints that can still burden our prayer life and thus also darken the soul. It may be an internalized pressure on us, for example, to save as many souls as possible through prayer, or to atone for many others’ sins. Without questioning these noble motives and even minimizing the importance of such prayers, one must be careful that prayer is not determined by a strong “must”, but that in all phases it is the spirit of freedom breathing. The encounter and the life with God leads us into the freedom of the children of God, which of course can not be confused with recklessness. It leads us out of constraints of all kinds and gives us joy as a fruit.
True joy, the joy of God and of all that He has created and done for us humans – as a fruit of the Holy Spirit – is a great remedy for the soul. It transfigures and exhilarates life in the light of God and is already an expression of the healing and recovery of the soul. Man takes an affirmative attitude towards life and its challenges. In the light of growing love, his soul becomes healthy and strengthened.
However, there remains the struggle we have to carry out in our earthly existence so that we do not lose God’s grace again and cooperate with it. But we are not helplessly lost in this fight, but the soul, strengthened in the Lord, surrenders to him without hesitation, however knowing that she lies mainly not own power. But she knows that this fight helps her to continue to grow and to fulfill her task.