Prayer, both ecclesial and personal prayer...ranks higher than all action, not in the first place as a source of psyshcological energy ("refueling", as they say today), but as the act of worship and glorification that befits love, the act in which one makes the most fundamental attempt to answer with selflessness and thereby shows that one has understood the divine proclamation. It is as tragic as it is ridiculous to see Christians today giving up this fundamental priority - which is witnessed to by the entire Old and New Testament, by Jesus' life as much as by Paul's and John's theology - and seeking instead an immediate encounter with Christ in their neighbour, or even in purely worldly work and technological activity. Engaged in such work, they soon lose the capacity to see any distinction between worldly responsibility and Christian mission. Whoever does not come to know the face of God in contemplation will not recognise it in action, even when it reveals itself to him in the face of the oppressed and humiliated.
- Hans Urs Von Balthasar