Catechism of the Catholic Church

632 Part Four I. B lessing and A doration 2626 Blessing expresses the basic movement of Christian prayer: it is an encounter between God and man. In blessing, God’s gift and man’s acceptance of it are united in dialogue with each other. The prayer of blessing is man’s response to God’s gifts: because God blesses, the human heart can in return bless the One who is the source of every blessing. 2627 Two fundamental forms express this movement: our prayer ascends in the Holy Spirit through Christ to the Father—we bless him for having blessed us; 97 it implores the grace of the Holy Spirit that descends through Christ from the Father—he blesses us. 98 2628 Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us 99 and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the “King of Glory,” 100 respectful silence in the presence of the “ever greater” God. 101 Adoration of the thrice-holy and sovereign God of love blends with humility and gives assurance to our supplications. II. P rayer of P etition 2629 The vocabulary of supplication in the New Testament is rich in shades of meaning: ask, beseech, plead, invoke, entreat, cry out, even “struggle in prayer.” 102 Its most usual form, because the most spontaneous, is petition: by prayer of petition we express awareness of our relationship with God. We are creatures who are not our own beginning, not the masters of adversity, not our own last end. We are sinners who as Christians know that we have turned away from our Father. Our petition is already a turning back to him. 2630 The New Testament contains scarcely any prayers of lamenta­ tion, so frequent in the Old Testament. In the risen Christ the Church’s petition is buoyed by hope, even if we still wait in a state of expectation and must be converted anew every day. Christian petition, what St. Paul calls “groaning,” arises from another depth, that of creation “in labor pains” and that of ourselves “as we wait for the redemption of our bodies. 97 Cf. Eph 1:3-14; 2 Cor 1:3-7; 1 Pet 1:3-9. 98 Cf. 2 Cor 13:14; Rom 15:5-6, 13; Eph 6:23-24. 99 Cf. Ps 95:1-6. 100 Ps 24, 9-10. 101 Cf. St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 62, 16: PL 36, 757-758. 102 Cf. Rom 15:30; Col 4:12. 1078 1083 2096-2097 2559 396 2090