Anne Catherine Emmerich had already been officially investigated by and declared Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich by the Church, but Catholics are in no obligation to believe in any private revelations. Nevertheless, this following vision of hers is instructive to me.
She was taken to a place to be shown how it is with our prayers before God. They seemed to be inscribed on large white tablets which were divided into four classes: some were written in magnificent golden letters; others in shining silver; some in darker characters; and still others in black streaked lines. The guide explained to her: "What's written in gold is the prayer of those who have united their good works to the merits of Jesus Christ and often renew this union; they aim at observing his precepts and imitating his example.
"What's written in silver is the prayer of those who think not of union with the merits of Jesus Christ; but who are, notwithstanding, pious and pray in the simplicity of their hearts.
"What's written in darker colors is the prayer of those who have no peace unless they frequently confess, communicate, and daily say certain prayers; but who are, however, tepid and perform their good works through habit.
"Lastly, what's written in black streaked characters is the prayer of those who place all their confidence in vocal prayers and pretended good works, but who do not keep God's Commandments nor curb their evil desires. Such prayer has no merit before God."
(Again, you see that union with the Lord is best for us.)