PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section One: Prayer in the Christian Life
Chapter 2: The Tradition of Prayer
Article 1, At the Wellsprings of Prayer (cont’d)
§ 2659 We learn to pray at certain moments by hearing the Word of the Lord and sharing in His Paschal Mystery [Passion, Death and Resurrection], but His Spirit is offered us at all times, in the events of each day, to make prayer spring up from us. Jesus’ teaching about praying to our Father is in the same vein as His teaching about Providence (cf. Matthew 6:11, 34): time is in the Father’s hands; it is in the present that we encounter Him, not yesterday nor tomorrow, but today: “O that today you would hearken to his voice! Harden not your hearts” (Psalm 95:7–8).
§ 2660 Prayer in the events of each day and each moment is one of the secrets of the Kingdom revealed to “little children,” to the servants of Christ, to the poor of the Beatitudes. It is right and good to pray so that the coming of the Kingdom of Justice and Peace may influence the march of history, but it is just as important to bring the help of prayer into humble, everyday situations; all forms of prayer can be the leaven to which the Lord compares the Kingdom (cf. Luke 13:20–21).
§ 2661 By a living transmission – Tradition – the Holy Spirit in the Church teaches the children of God to pray.
§ 2662 The Word of God, the liturgy of the Church, and the virtues of faith, hope, and charity are sources of prayer.
Article 2, The Way of Prayer
§ 2663 In the living tradition of prayer, each Church proposes to its faithful, according to its historic, social, and cultural context, a language for prayer: words, melodies, gestures, iconography [the study or analysis of subject matter in the visual arts]. The Magisterium of the Church (cf. DV 10) has the task of discerning the fidelity of these ways of praying to the tradition of Apostolic faith; it is for pastors and catechists to explain their meaning, always in relation to Jesus Christ.
Prayer to the Father
§ 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.
Tomorrow – Prayer to Jesus
(Part IV, Section 1, Chapter 2, Article 2 – to be continued)
[Editor’s Note: The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]
- “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
- “DV” – “Dei Verbum [The Word of God]”, Vatican Council II