PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section One: Prayer in the Christian Life
Chapter 1: The Revelation of Prayer
Article 2, In the Fullness of Time
The prayer of the Virgin Mary (cont’d)
§ 2618 The Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith. At Cana (cf. John 2:1-12), the Mother of Jesus asks her Son for the needs of a wedding feast; this is the sign of another feast – that of the wedding of the Lamb where he gives His Body and Blood at the request of the Church, His Bride. It is at the hour of the New Covenant, at the foot of the Cross (cf. Jn 19:25-27), that Mary is heard as the Woman, the new Eve, the true “Mother of all the living.”
§ 2619 That is why the Canticle of Mary (cf. Luke 1:46-55), the Magnificat (Latin) or Megalynei (Byzantine) is the song both of the Mother of God and of the Church; the song of the Daughter of Zion and of the new People of God; the song of thanksgiving for the fullness of graces poured out in the economy of salvation [God’s plan of salvation] and the song of the “poor” whose hope is met by the fulfillment of the promises made to our ancestors, “to Abraham and to his posterity forever.”
§ 2620 Jesus’ Filial prayer is the perfect model of prayer in the New Testament. Often done in solitude and in secret, the prayer of Jesus involves a loving adherence to the will of the Father even to the Cross and an absolute confidence in being heard.
§ 2621 In His teaching, Jesus teaches His disciples to pray with a purified heart, with lively and persevering faith, with filial boldness. He calls them to vigilance and invites them to present their petitions to God in His Name. Jesus Christ Himself answers prayers addressed to Him.
§ 2622 The prayers of the Virgin Mary, in her Fiat and Magnificat, are characterized by the generous offering of her whole being in faith.
Article 3, In the Age of the Church
§ 2623 On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit of the Promise was poured out on the disciples, gathered “together in one place” (Acts 2:1). While awaiting the Spirit, “all these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14). The Spirit, who teaches the Church and recalls for her everything that Jesus said (cf. Jn 14:26), was also to form her in the life of prayer.
§ 2624 In the first community of Jerusalem, believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). This sequence is characteristic of the Church’s prayer: founded on the Apostolic faith; authenticated by charity; nourished in the Eucharist.
Tomorrow – In the Age of the Church (to be continued)
(Part IV, Section 1, Chapter 1, Article 3 – to be continued)
[Editor’s Note: The abbreviation in today’s posting is noted below.]
- “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”