You want me to tell how we must begin prayer, continue it and finish it. I tell you wholeheartedly that we must always begin, always continue and never end. All our actions in the service of God are only beginnings, being so weak, so impoverished and so insignificant. Our concern must be to begin well and continue well always, rather than finish, at least in the present state, since finishing can only be done at the moment of our death when Jesus Christ, through his infinite kindness, will bring to fulfillment his grace in us. For the way to finish well then is to begin well and continue well now.
Madeleine de Saint-Joseph, Letter 147, in Bérulle and the French School, Glendon, tr., and Thompson, ed. Paulist (New York: 1989) p. 204.