Where is all of this leading?
We shall have God as our common object of vision, as our common possession, our common peace, For whatever he gives us now, he shall be to us in place of his present gifts. He shall be our full and perfect peace… Our joy, our peace, our rest, the end of our troubles, is none but God.
from St. Augustine Answers 101 Questions on Prayer by Fr. Ermatinger.
As we progress in the life of prayer, we find that it is fraught with trials; we wish to pray vigils but find difficulty in staying awake, we try fasting but we seem to be all the more hungry, we seek to give alms but find our own selves suddenly short, we seek to meditate on this or that but find ourselves quickly distracted. Prayer is said to be the path to rest, to peace, but too often are we confronted with difficulties, trials, and the weariness of the undertaking. The answer to this problem rests in the end of the work of prayer: communion with God and the receiving of His good things. He is our rest for in obtaining we will have finished our work. He is our peace for we will have finished our conflict with the temptations of the world. This is why those who seek to prefer God to the world find difficulty, for in this world we are yet clothed in mortality and must be clothed with immortality, having God in place of this world and even in place of the good things that He gives us. One must die to the world, die to self, die to His consultations to ultimately receive Him. — PPP