Wednesday, September 4, 2013

560. What is the way of our prayer?

560. What is the way of our prayer?   

(Comp 560) The way of our prayer is Christ because prayer is directed to God our Father but reaches him only if we pray – at least implicitly – in the name of Jesus. His humanity is in effect the only way by which the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray to our Father. Therefore liturgical prayers conclude with the formula: “Through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“In brief”

(CCC 2680) Prayer is primarily addressed to the Father; it can also be directed toward Jesus, particularly by the invocation of his holy name: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners."   

To deepen and explain

(CCC 2664) There is no other way of Christian prayer than Christ. Whether our prayer is communal or personal, vocal or interior, it has access to the Father only if we pray "in the name" of Jesus. The sacred humanity of Jesus is therefore the way by which the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray to God our Father.  


(CCC 2581) For the People of God, the Temple was to be the place of their education in prayer: pilgrimages, feasts and sacrifices, the evening offering, the incense, and the bread of the Presence (“shewbread") - all these signs of the holiness and glory of God Most High and Most Near were appeals to and ways of prayer. But ritualism often encouraged an excessively external worship. The people needed education in faith and conversion of heart; this was the mission of the prophets, both before and after the Exile.

(Next question: What is the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer?)

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