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Below is an excerpt from a column by Psychiatrist and Author, Er. Edward A. Strecker. The article was published many years ago, but its truth hasn’t faded even the slightest shade.
“Hold prayer in high esteem. It is the foundation of all virtues, and the source of all grace needed to sanctify ourselves and to discharge the duties of our employment.” St. Jean Baptiste De La Salle
Prayer is the language of religion; but it is also a mighty force in our daily life. That is the wisdom expressed in these words by La Salle, the priestly educator…
A doctor sees many examples of the power of prayer. Obviously, there is small value to the mere hasty mumbling of a formula of words. Nor should prayer be the medium of barter with God – “If You do this for me, I will do that for You.” Such prayer is reminiscent of the pack rat, which takes something valuable, perhaps jewelry, leaving in exchange a scrap of paper or a pebble. But true prayer – by which I mean sincerely lifting your mind and heart to God – can change your life.
For example, prayer has an important place in psychiatric treatment. Often the psychiatrist finds it necessary to help the patient relinquish excessive and childish emotional dependencies upon others. Through prayer, the patient can take his troubles to God and find the support and strength he needs.
Only a few years ago the eminent psychoanalyst Jung wrote, “In thirty years I have treated many patients. Among all my patients in the second half of life, every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age had given their followers, and none of them was really healed who did not regain his religious outlook.”
Here is evidence that La Salle’s words are as true today as when he spoke them long ago as founder of the Christian brothers, who today conduct schools and colleges throughout the world. Now, as always, for the sake of our work in life, we must “hold prayer in high esteem.”
Make each prayer count double,