Father Alfonso Galvez has written about Prayer, beautifully and comprehensively, directly and indirectly, many times in his writings. In The Mystery of Prayer he attempts to give the reader a small glimpse into the depth and reality of mystical or contemplative prayer.
Father Galvez states at the outset that it is simply not possible to learn how to practice contemplative prayer: never in three days nor in a thousand years, not even if one were able to live one hundred thousand lives. Contemplative prayer is something essentially supernatural and a gratuitous gift from God that He grants to whomever and whenever He wants; therefore … nobody can merit it, for it belongs to a level so high that man’s natural powers cannot reach it.
The author knows very well the two great Spanish Mystics and Doctors of the Church, Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross. The three have more in common than their native land. Each gives readers invaluable insights into the subject of prayer. However, both Mystical Doctors offer a method which Father observes as having some obscure, or seemingly austere, points contained in their spirituality: Saint Teresa speaks of a more passive method of contemplation in which a shower of the soft rain of grace can be received by the soul without effort. Saint John emphasizes in his doctrine that the soul should be divested of absolutely everything: embracing Nothing. The Night of the senses and of the spirit.