Words of Jesus to Faustina recounted in her Diary, par. 1029
The temptation in the desert calls to mind the adage, “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” Why? Some say fruitful charity can only follow prayer. Others say charity exists without prayer; it is part of our nature.
In his book, “Soul of the Apostolate,” (a favorite of Pope St. Pius X), Dom Chautard builds a strong case for the importance of prayer, going so far as to give examples of accomplishments that were the fruit of prayer where charitable activity had failed to produce anything. In other words, more was accomplished through prayer than through action. It’s a tough maxim to accept but notice that Jesus Himself does not begin His years of ministry without first spending 40 days alone in prayerful fasting.
On the other hand, Jesus tells us that “as you did it to one of these the least of my brethren you did it to me” (Mt. 25:31-46), and He reaffirms that in His message to Faustina, who lived in a convent spending most of her time in prayer! So, which is more important, prayer or charitable activity? It is neither… and both. One does not exist without the other and the reality is this: every moment of every day must be lived in prayer-filled charity to others. That was Faustina’s challenge. It is ours as well. Here’s a daily prayer from
Keep me, O God, from pettiness; let me be large in thought, in word, in deed. Let me be done with fault-finding and self-seeking. May I put away all pretense and meet everyone face to face without self-pity and without prejudice. May I never be hasty in judgment and always generous. Let me take time for all things. Make me grow calm, serene and gentle. Teach me to put into action my better impulses, straightforward and unafraid. Grant that I may realize it is the little things of life that create differences and that in the big things of life we are one. And, O Lord God, let me not forget to be kind!