Post by Elizabeth on Dec 11, 2018 3:21:43 GMT
One day two cardinals came to him (Egidius, also called Gilles, a brother) to hear from his mouth the words of life. As he was about to leave, they begged him to pray for them. He answered: "What need is there that I pray God for you, since you have more faith and hope than me?"- "How?" They asked. – Egidius (a holy Dominican) replied: "Because you, with so much wealth, honors and prosperity in this world, you hope for the mercy of God; while with so much suffering and misery, I am afraid of being damned." These words penetrated them with sincere compunction, and they left better.
Another time a brother asked him to pray to God for him. - "But," said Egidius, "pray for yourself. Why send another person in your place and remain seated during this time, since you can make the trip yourself?" - The other replied that he was a sinner, but Egidius was a friend of God, and thus able to pray with confidence and for himself and others, Egidius replied: "My brother, if all the squares of this city were full of gold and silver, and that we published that every one may take it, would you send another to your place to take it on your behalf? I think you would go yourself, and that you would not trust too much to others. Now, God has filled the whole world, and each one can find it; so, go yourself, and do not send one in your place.
"Prayer," he said, "is the beginning and completion of all good. Prayer illuminates the soul, and through it one recognizes the good and the wrong. Every sinner must pray to the Lord to let him know his misery and sins, as well as his benefits. Who does not know how to pray, knows not God. All who are to be saved, if they have the use of reason, must necessarily have recourse to prayer. Suppose a woman of great modesty and simplicity, having a single son, who, for some offense, is taken by the king and dragged to execution. This widow, so modest and simple, would she not go, scattered hair and breast uncovered, shout out loud for the deliverance of her son, and beg the king? And who would teach this person so simple to pray for her son? Love and necessity would push this woman so simple, and who scarcely crossed the threshold of its door, to traverse, as a brazen, the public squares, lamenting in the midst of men, and from simple becoming wise and bold. In the same way, someone would know and pray, would know his losses, his evils, and his sins."
One brother told him one day that one should be grieved when, in prayer, we cannot find the grace of devotion. Brother Gilles answered him: "I advise you to make your case slowly; for if you had a little good wine in a barrel, and there would have a lot of sediment under this wine, would you shake the barrel to mingle the wine and the lees together."
Another said to him: "I am often tempted, and of a very bad temptation; many times I have prayed to the Lord to take it away, and He did not remove it." Brother Gilles replied: "There are temptations of a plowman who undertakes to clear a forest of trees and bushes in his land, to make a hedge there and sow grain. It endures many works, sweats and worries before the grain is harvested. More than once he is like to repentance of having undertaken such a task, because of the fatigue and the anxieties which arise continually from work itself. He sees first the forest to be extirpated, and he sees no grain; then he cuts the trees with much work, and sees no grain; thirdly, he plucks the roots of the trees with great effort, and sees no grain yet; fourth, he clears the land and arranges it, and he does not yet see the wheat which he has already worked so much; fifthly, he plows the earth a second time; sixth, seeding; seventh, he weeds it; eighth, he reaps it; ninth, he beats the wheat, and all this, he does it with great work; tenthly, he deposits wheat at the granary with joy, not remembering all his works, blessing them, on the contrary, because of the joy which the quantity of fruit gives him.
Another complained to him that his brothers overwhelmed him of so many occupations, that he could scarcely find himself at prayer: consequently, he asked permission to retire to a hermitage to serve God more quietly. Egidius said to him: "If you were going to find the King of France to ask him for a thousand pounds of money, would he not rightly say to you: "What are you thinking of, to make such a request? What did you do for me, to give you such a considerable sum?" But if you had done for him something great and difficult, worthy of such a reward, oh! then you would ask with boldness and justice. So, if you want God to hear you in your request, work first for Him.
(Taken from: Histoire Universelle de l'Église Catholique, translated Universal History of the Catholic Church)