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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