PRAYER OF THE SERVANTS OF THE VISITATION
Prayer is the “elevation of the soul – daughter to God the Father”, the exercise of the conscious and dynamic intimacy – communion of individual children and of the whole family – people – Church with God the Father, with Jesus Brother, Friend, Savior, with the Spirit, Love.
Prayer, conceived in this way, which can reach its climax in pure and simple contemplative immobility, is normally “conversation“, “dialogue“. In conversation and dialogue, not only one of the parties speaks, but all the interesting parties speak: God, man, the community. The precedence, the greater space for intervention, naturally belongs to God.
Therefore, prayer, in order to be authentic and orderly conversation and dialogue, must give precedence and greater space to God’s intervention. Therefore, listening (or reading) is at the beginning of prayer. The deepening, meditation, contemplation of the word of God, always alive and always new, contained in the Bible and, especially, in the New Testament. Then follows the sonship response of man, the official prayer of the church, the liturgy.
According to this vision of prayer, the book par excellence is the Bible. Through the Bible, God reveals himself, manifests the plan of his paternal will, makes known the historical unfolding of his saving action, teaches men and women his ways, pours out the infinite richness of his sentiments of love towards each individual man and towards the whole community of men.
The Psalms contain the prayers that God himself put on the lips of the prophets in response to his revelations, his actions and his outpourings. It is the book of the church, the community of God’s children, adopted for prayer to be addressed “together” to the Father.
Prayer is also the heart of every man, enlightened by the Word and enlivened by the Holy Spirit, which responds to God by exclaiming “Father!”. And adding what the divine confidences received and the feelings matured in his interior suggest to him.
The prayers in this booklet are inspired by the word of the Lord and the Sacred Liturgy and express in a communal way, the voice of the heart in the line of the Charism, in particular circumstances:
a) To cultivate devotions that the Church welcomes, approves and recommends as a deepening or actualization or adaptation (to times, situations; cultures of the main mysteries of Salvation);
b) To offer guidance and aids in particular community practices.
c) To facilitate and guide particular community practices.
It is in this spirit, with this meaning, for these purposes, that the Servants of the Visitation are given this prayer book.
Assisi, Easter 1979
+ DINO TOMASSINI