Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most imme
diately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives
him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because he is. It
shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God
in faith before seeing him in glory. By praise, the Spirit is joined to
our spirits to bear witness that we are children of God,
to the only Son in whom we are adopted and by whom we glorify
the Father. Praise embraces the other forms of prayer and carries
them toward him who is its source and goal: the “one God, the
Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.”
St. Luke in his gospel often expresses wonder and praise at the
marvels of Christ and in his
Acts of the Apostles
stresses them as actions of
the Holy Spirit: the community of Jerusalem, the invalid healed by Peter
and John, the crowd that gives glory to God for that, and the pagans of
Pisidia who “were glad and glorified the word of God.”
“[Address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.”
inspired writers of the New Testament, the first Christian communities read
the Book of Psalms in a new way, singing in it the mystery of Christ. In the
newness of the Spirit, they also composed hymns and canticles in the light
of the unheard-of event that God accomplished in his Son: his Incarnation,
his death which conquered death, his Resurrection, and Ascension to the
right hand of the Father.
Doxology, the praise of God, arises from this
“marvelous work” of the whole economy of salvation.
of “what must soon take place,” the
borne along by the songs of the heavenly liturgy
but also by the
intercession of the “witnesses” (martyrs).
The prophets and the saints, all
those who were slain on earth for their witness to Jesus, the vast throng of
those who, having come through the great tribulation, have gone before us
into the Kingdom, all sing the praise and glory of him who sits on the
throne, and of the Lamb.
In communion with them, the Church on earth
also sings these songs with faith in the midst of trial. By means of petition
and intercession, faith hopes against all hope and gives thanks to the
“Father of lights,” from whom “every perfect gift” comes down.
faith is pure praise.
2:47; 3:9; 4:21; 13:48.
4:8-11; 5:9-14; 7:10-12.