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Praying with Angela

Praying with Angela

 

 

What helps me to pray? What makes me pray? Prayer is such an integral part of our lives that it is helpful to stop for a few moments and to ask ourselves how we pray, why we pray and how Angela can help us in our relation to God. Prayer was at the heart of Angela’s life; it was this aspect which struck the most those who surrounded her. Pasero, a Brescian chronicler, wrote, after having related her meeting with Francesco Sforza, that “she was a contemplative woman who found pleasure in being alone in her room and praying to God, something that many scorn or laugh at”, in his times.


In our introduction, we will examine how Angela’s contemporaries perceived her as a woman of prayer. After that, we shall see what Angela’s prayer was like, what was her teaching on prayer, and, finally, what God meant to her, as she prayed Him so intensely.

Introduction:

When we look at her life, we are struck by her love of prayer. She seems never to have enough of it. She finds in prayer the center of her life. Her need for prayer did not proceed from external circumstances but from the very depths of her soul. How did she come to such a love of prayer? The witnesses of her life have shed some light on this.

“No one on earth taught her how to pray, because at that time, very few people were apt to teach others how to pray. It was the Holy Spirit who guided her through His interior motions”. (Bell. Queriniana 7, 8v).

Already during her childhood she felt a mysterious attraction to God; she felt like praying during the day and even during the night. She was exceptionally faithful to her need for prayer. Consequently, let us also allow the Lord to give us the same need for prayer, to stay with Him, even without words, to let everything else drop, and, if we feel at times a certain urgency for prayer, to yield to it and let the Holy Spirit draw us nearer to God.

God Himself gave her a sort of natural instinct for prayer and renunciation”. (Bell. Queriniana 7, 8r).

Together with her need for prayer, Angela was inclined to self-despoilment, to an austere style of life, in food, clothing, furniture. When she said to her daughters: “May Jesus-Christ be you only Treasure”, she had lived it deeply herself. She knew from her own experience that the voice of the Holy Spirit is heard “all the more clearly as we have our conscience more purified and clean”. (R 8, 15). Therefore, if we want to pray well, we need to free ourselves of our worries, our anxieties, our memories, so as to concentrate on essentials.

Another aspect of Angela’s prayer is her continuous dialogue with the Lord.

“All her strength, all her time, all her gifts, she used them to be united to God, and considered that all the rest was of little value. Prayer was her whole life, except when charity led her to help others, encourage them, and enlighten them on spiritual matters.” (Bell. Quer. 7, 8r).

We know through Agostino Gallo’s testimony that she spent her mornings in prayer, before the Blessed Sacrament, in Church. After that, she was available during the whole afternoon. If people came to her, seeking for light, encouragement, or peace, she was attentive to thei needs. If no one came, she would pray or read spiritual books.

Praying with Angela

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