Daily Series on the Catechism

PART IV:  CHRISTIAN PRAYER

Section One:  Prayer in the Christian Life

Chapter 2:  The Tradition of Prayer

Article 2,  The Way of Prayer (cont’d)

In Brief

§ 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.”

§ 2681  “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). The Church invites us to invoke the Holy Spirit as the interior Teacher of Christian prayer.

§ 2682  Because of Mary’s singular cooperation with the action of the Holy Spirit, the Church loves to pray in communion with the Virgin Mary, to magnify with her the great things the Lord has done for her, and to entrust supplications and praises to her.

Article 3,  Guides for Prayer

A cloud of witnesses

§ 2683  The witnesses who have preceded us into the Kingdom (cf. Hebrews 12:1), especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise Him and constantly care for those whom they have left on Earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were “put in charge of many things” (cf. Matthew 25:21b). Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.

§ 2684   In the communion of saints, many and varied spiritualities have been developed throughout the history of the churches. The personal charism of some witnesses to God’s love for men has been handed on, like “the spirit” of Elijah to Elisha and John the Baptist, so that their followers may have a share in this spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9; Luke 1:1; PC 2).

[Editorial note: Throughout the history of the Church, there have developed different types of “spiritualities” which teach us how to live and how to practice the way of prayer.]

A distinct spirituality can also arise at the point of convergence of liturgical and theological currents, bearing witness to the integration of the faith into a particular human environment and its history. The different schools of Christian spirituality share in the living tradition of prayer and are essential guides for the faithful. In their rich diversity they are refractions of the One Pure Light of the Holy Spirit.

  • “The Spirit is truly the dwelling of the saints, and the saints are for the Spirit a place where He dwells as in His own home, since they offer themselves as a dwelling place for God and are called His temple” (DSS 26, 62: PG 32, 184).

Tomorrow – Servants of prayer

(Part IV, Section 1, Chapter 2, Article 3 – to be continued)

[Editor’s Note:  The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]

  • “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
  • “DSS” – St. Basil, “De Spiritu Sancto [Of the Holy Spirit]”
  • “PC” – “Perfectae Caritatis [Perfect Charity]”, Vatican Council II
  • “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, 18571866 A.D.)
Available in several languages

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