Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  635 / 904 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 635 / 904 Next Page
Page Background

Christian Prayer

635

V.

P

rayer of

P

raise

2639

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,

121

testifying

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.”

122

2640

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.”

123

2641

“[Address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.”

124

Like the

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.

125

Doxology, the praise of God, arises from this

“marvelous work” of the whole economy of salvation.

126

2642

The

Revelation

of “what must soon take place,” the

Apocalypse,

is

borne along by the songs of the heavenly liturgy

127

but also by the

intercession of the “witnesses” (martyrs).

128

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.

129

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.

130

Thus

faith is pure praise.

121 Cf.

Rom

8:16.

122

1 Cor

8:6.

123

Acts

2:47; 3:9; 4:21; 13:48.

124

Eph

5:19;

Col

3:16.

125 Cf.

Phil

2:6-11;

Col

1:15-20;

Eph

5:14;

1 Tim

3:16; 6:15-16;

2 Tim

2:11-13.

126 Cf.

Eph

1:3-14;

Rom

16:25-27;

Eph

3:20-21;

Jude

24-25.

127 Cf.

Rev

4:8-11; 5:9-14; 7:10-12.

128

Rev

6:10.

129 Cf.

Rev

18:24; 19:1-8.

130

Jas

1:17.

213

2587

1137