Well, dear readers, I’d like to give a little introduction to the series of articles which will be posted here. For a little while, my thoughts dwelt on why so many people either fall away from the Faith or become lukewarm. In the modern world, things like fear of man (aka human respect), being brought up in a religiously ambivalent environment, and either having a poor religious education or being seduced by secular ideologies tend to be some of the most prominent culprits. But, greatly influenced by St. Alphonsus de Liguori’s The Great Means of Salvation, the greatest error of those who have fallen away is that they did not persevere in prayer. Of course, you might be better served by reading that wonderful work; but I must warn you that, besides encouraging the Faithful to pray, this book is a work of Counter Reformation apologetics, including many arguments against the Martin Luther’s and John Calvin’s theologies. If you would be put off by all those arguments to which St. Alphonsus adds the backing of several Fathers of the Church, stick with my series of articles. Despite being written from a Catholic perspective, they should prove useful to all Christians and even other Monotheists. My articles wish to show:
1) The Necessity of Prayer
2) How Not to Pray
3) What to Pray
4) Troubleshooting, or How to Overcome Certain Obstacles in Prayer
Feel free to pick and choose from the advice I give. For example, however much I should wish it, Protestants are not going to pray to saints. (Though, might I encourage you to speak to your guardian angel sometimes? God did provide them with the mission of watching over us, and they deserve some acknowledgement!) Also, I might just plain be in error on some points, so listen to the advice of someone older and wiser if possible.
Devout persons, people who barely practice religion, those in a state of doubt, and those who would like to believe form my target audience. For those who are happily atheists, agnostics, and apathiests, please do read the first article then consider whether you arrived at your respective conclusions rightly. If yes, read no further. If no, read on. And comments about how I could improve my arguments will be greatly appreciated. But, the main thrust of them will be that people are saved sola gratia, “by grace alone,” and that “Prayer is the key which opens the Heart of God” (Padre Pio). I hope that you enjoy these articles!