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634

Part Four

intercession for them.”

113

The Holy Spirit “himself intercedes for

us . . . and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

114

2635

Since Abraham, intercession—asking on behalf of another—

has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy. In the age

of the Church, Christian intercession participates in Christ’s, as an ex­

pression of the communion of saints. In intercession, he who prays

looks “not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of oth­

ers,” even to the point of praying for those who do him harm.

115

2636

The first Christian communities lived this form of fellow­

ship intensely.

116

Thus the Apostle Paul gives them a share in his

ministry of preaching the Gospel

117

but also intercedes for them.

118

The intercession of Christians recognizes no boundaries: “for all

men, for kings and all who are in high positions,” for persecutors,

for the salvation of those who reject the Gospel.

119

IV.

P

rayer of

T

hanksgiving

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Thanksgiving characterizes the prayer of the Church

which, in celebrating the Eucharist, reveals and becomes more fully

what she is. Indeed, in the work of salvation, Christ sets creation

free from sin and death to consecrate it anew and make it return to

the Father, for his glory. The thanksgiving of the members of the

Body participates in that of their Head.

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As in the prayer of petition, every event and need can

become an offering of thanksgiving. The letters of St. Paul often

begin and end with thanksgiving, and the Lord Jesus is always

present in it: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will

of God in Christ Jesus for you”; “Continue steadfastly in prayer,

being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

120

113

Heb

7:25.

114

Rom

8:26-27.

115

Phil

2:4; cf.

Acts

7:60;

Lk

23:28, 34.

116 Cf.

Acts

12:5; 20:36; 21:5;

2 Cor

9:14.

117 Cf.

Eph

6:18-20;

Col

4:3-4;

1 Thess

5:25.

118 Cf.

2 Thess

1:11;

Col

1:3;

Phil

1:3-4.

119

1 Tim

2:1; cf.

Rom

12:14; 10:1.

120

1 Thess

5:18;

Col

4:2.

2571

2577

1900

1037

224

1328

2603