Since the center of the person of Jesus is prayer, it is essential to participate in his prayer if we are to know and understand him.
. . . Therefore a participation in the mind of Jesus, i.e. in his prayer, which … is an act of love, of self-giving and self-expropriation to men, in not some kind of pious supplement to reading the Gospels, adding nothing to knowledge of him or even being an obstacle to the rigorous purity of critical knowing. On the contrary, it is the basic precondition if real understanding … is to take place.
. . . The person who prays begins to see; praying and seeing go together because—as Richard of St. Victor says—“Love is the faculty of seeing”. Real advances in Christology, therefore, can never come merely as a result of the theology of the schools, and that includes the modern theology as we find it in critical exegesis, in the history of doctrine and in an anthropology oriented toward the human sciences, etc. All this is important, as important as schools are, But it is insufficient. It must be complemented by the theology of the saints, which is theology from experience. All real progress in theological understanding has its origin in the eye of love and in its faculty of beholding.
Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) Behold the Pierced One