PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section One: Prayer in the Christian Life
Chapter 2: The Tradition of Prayer
Article 2, The Way of Prayer
Prayer to Jesus (cont’d)
§ 2669 The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes His Most Holy Name. It adores the Incarnate Word and His Heart which, out of love for men, He allowed to be pierced by our sins. Christian prayer loves to follow the Way of the Cross in the Savior’s steps. The stations from the Praetorium to Golgotha and the tomb trace the way of Jesus, who by His Holy Cross has redeemed the world.
“Come, Holy Spirit”
§ 2670 “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). Every time we begin to pray to Jesus, it is the Holy Spirit who draws us on the way of prayer by His prevenient grace [a grace which God gives to draw man to Himself]. Since He teaches us to pray by recalling Christ, how could we not pray to the Spirit too? That is why the Church invites us to call upon the Holy Spirit every day, especially at the beginning and the end of every important action.
- “If the Spirit should not be worshiped, how can He divinize me through Baptism? If He should be worshiped, should He not be the object of adoration?” (Ora 31, 28: PG 36, 165)
§ 2671 The traditional form of petition to the Holy Spirit is to invoke the Father through Christ our Lord to give us the Consoler Spirit (cf. Luke 11:13). Jesus insists on this petition to be made in His Name at the very moment when He promises the gift of the Spirit of Truth (cf. John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). But the simplest and most direct prayer is also traditional, “Come, Holy Spirit,” and every liturgical tradition has developed it in antiphons and hymns.
- “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Your Love” (Roman Missal, Pentecost, “Sequence”).
- “Heavenly King, Consoler Spirit, Spirit of Truth, present everywhere and filling all things, Treasure of all good and Source of all life, come dwell in us, cleanse and save us, You who are All-Good” (Byzantine Liturgy, Pentecost Vespers, “Troparion”).
§ 2672 The Holy Spirit, whose anointing permeates our whole being, is the interior Master of Christian prayer. He is the Artisan of the living tradition of prayer. To be sure, there are as many paths of prayer as there are persons who pray, but it is the same Spirit acting in all and with all. It is in the communion of the Holy Spirit that Christian prayer is prayer in the Church.
Tomorrow – In communion with the Holy Mother of God
(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]”
- “Ora” – St. Gregory of Nazianzus, “Orationes [Prayers]”
- “PG” – “Patrologia Graeca [Greek Patrology]”, an enormous collection of writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers in the Greek language published by J. P. Migne, (Paris, 1857‑1866 A.D.)