faith, with filial boldness. He calls them to vigilance
and invites them to present their petitions to God in
his name. Jesus Christ himself answers prayers ad
dressed to him.
The prayers of the Virgin Mary, in her Fiat and Mag
nificat, are characterized by the generous offering of
her whole being in faith.
IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH
On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit of the Promise was
poured out on the disciples, gathered “together in one place.”
While awaiting the Spirit, “all these with one accord devoted
themselves to prayer.”
The Spirit who teaches the Church and
recalls for her everything that Jesus said
was also to form her in
the life of prayer.
In the first community of Jerusalem, believers “devoted
themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the break
ing of bread, and the prayers.”
This sequence is characteristic of
the Church’s prayer: founded on the apostolic faith; authenticated
by charity; nourished in the Eucharist.
In the first place these are prayers that the faithful hear and
read in the Scriptures, but also that they make their own—espe
cially those of the Psalms, in view of their fulfillment in Christ.
The Holy Spirit, who thus keeps the memory of Christ alive in his
Church at prayer, also leads her toward the fullness of truth and
inspires new formulations expressing the unfathomable mystery
of Christ at work in his Church’s life, sacraments, and mission.
These formulations are developed in the great liturgical and spiri
tual traditions. The
forms of prayer
revealed in the apostolic and
canonical Scriptures remain normative for Christian prayer.