Question 019.  

Does that mean that my inclination to pray is part of my nature?  That I have come prepackaged for an encounter with God?

[Jesus] being glorified in his resurrection and ascension, brought many rich men to hold this present world in disdain, and thus truly enriching them by granting them the Holy Spirit and thereby extinguishing all longing for wealth.  Otherwise, how could you have such a desire for prayer if your hope were not placed in him? And how could you trust in Him if your trust were placed in those unstable riches?

from St. Augustine Answers 101 Questions on Prayer by Fr. Ermatinger.


Man has the inclination to pray; this is self-evident.  He might not always pray to the true God and all too often prays to idols and created things.  But pray he does, seeking after a deep inclination within his nature to find that to which the inner chamber of his heart belongs.  Man comes to know that this inclination to pray has a specific object and end; praying to deaf idols made by human hands is no communion and the obtaining of created ends – wealth beyond wealth – fulfills him not, nor saves him not.  The end for man is not any old thing nor incalculable riches of any thing – which in time proves to be dross and boredom – but is this specific end: God alone suffices and total communion alone fulfills.  This is seen more so in the rich man who prays than the poor.  He who has obtained all that the world has to offer better testifies that the world’s riches are emptiness compared to that supernatural reality granted through progress in prayer.  When the rich man removes his gaze from achieving created riches, disdains these things, and turns towards obtaining of that communion with God whereby he is possessed by Him, he serves as an example for those who have yet to achieve the wealth of this world.  By his prayers, other men learn what true wealth is, where true stability is, and in whom trust ultimately should be placed.


Twenty-four elders before God the Father and the Lamb, Jacob de Wet, 1647