Prayer and meditation are habits that can be difficult to maintain, but when they are cultivated there is much fruit from having this ‘habit’. Breathe for the body, prayer and mediation for the soul. The inner life is the most important aspect of the human person, yet it is one facet that is often not sought after. Prayer and mediation leads to self knowledge, they are both twins in fact, attached at the hip. To relate to the infinite, to seek intimacy to the ultimate mystery, in the end develops compassion for all. For those who are on the path of self-knowledge learn of their own weaknesses, compulsions and sins, as well as their own need of healing and mercy, or grace to use a Christian term. When this deepens, it is harder to look down on others. The one on the inner path has more than enough to deal with; there is no need to seek out the faults and sins of others. Or if they are noticed, there is empathy instead of condemnation.
To see to pray and contemplate may start off being peaceful, but the desert experience is one of the most common phases that those on the inner path must go through. For love is deepened through struggle and suffering and the letting go of what is comforting and familiar. Which can in truth, be a barrier to deeper inner freedom and intimacy, with what is called in generic germs, “God”.