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PART FOUR

CHRISTIAN PRAYER

S

ection

O

ne

P

rayer

in the

C

hristian

L

ife

2558

“Great is the mystery of the faith!” The Church professes

this mystery in the Apostles’ Creed (

Part One

) and celebrates it in

the sacramental liturgy (

Part Two

), so that the life of the faithful

may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God

the Father (

Part Three

). This mystery, then, requires that the faithful

believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a

vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This

relationship is prayer.

W

hat

I

s

P

rayer

?

For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look

turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love,

embracing both trial and joy.

1

Prayer as God’s gift

2559

“Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or

the requesting of good things from God.”

2

But when we pray, do

we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the

depths” of a humble and contrite heart?

3

He who humbles himself

will be exalted;

4

humility

is the foundation of prayer. Only when

we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we

ought,”

5

are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. “Man is a

beggar before God.”

6

1 St. Thérèse of Lisieux,

Manuscrits autobiographiques,

C 25r.

2 St. John Damascene,

De fide orth.

3, 24: PG 94, 1089C.

3

Ps

130:1.

4 Cf.

Lk

18:9-14.

5

Rom

8:26.

6 St. Augustine,

Sermo

56, 6, 9: PL 38, 381.

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