Many people were able to pray as children, but at sometime or other they lost the ability. Do you have to learn to talk with God?
The organ of sensitivity to God can atrophy to such an extent that the words of faith become quite meaningless. And whoever no longer possesses a faculty of hearing can no longer speak, because deaf goes together with being mute. It’s as if one had deliberately to learn one’s own mother tongue. Slowly one learns to spell out God’s letters, to speak this language and — if still inadequately — to understand God. Gradually, then, one will begin to be able to pray for one’s self and to talk with God, at first in a very childlike way — in a certain sense we always remain like that — but then more and more in one’s own words.
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I also think one has never achieved complete faith. Faith has to be lived again and again in life and in suffering, as well as in the great joys God sends us. It is never something I can put in my pocket, like a coin.
Joseph Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI]
God and the World: A Conversation With Peter Seewald