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Part Four

meditating; knock in mental prayer and it will be opened to you

by contemplation.”

5

The Liturgy of the Church

2655

In the sacramental liturgy of the Church, the mission of

Christ and of the Holy Spirit proclaims, makes present, and com­

municates the mystery of salvation, which is continued in the heart

that prays. The spiritual writers sometimes compare the heart to

an altar. Prayer internalizes and assimilates the liturgy during and

after its celebration. Even when it is lived out “in secret,”

6

prayer

is always prayer

of the Church;

it is a communion with the Holy

Trinity.

7

The theological virtues

2656

One enters into prayer as one enters into liturgy: by the

narrow gate of

faith.

Through the signs of his presence, it is the Face

of the Lord that we seek and desire; it is his Word that we want to

hear and keep.

2657

The Holy Spirit, who instructs us to celebrate the liturgy

in expectation of Christ’s return, teaches us to pray in

hope.

Con­

versely, the prayer of the Church and personal prayer nourish hope

in us. The psalms especially, with their concrete and varied lan­

guage, teach us to fix our hope in God: “I waited patiently for the

Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.”

8

As St. Paul prayed:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,

so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

9

2658

“Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s

love

has been

poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to

us.”

10

Prayer, formed by the liturgical life, draws everything into

the love by which we are loved in Christ and which enables us to

respond to him by loving as he has loved us. Love is the source of

5 Guigo the Carthusian,

Scala Paradisi:

PL 40, 998.

6 Cf.

Mt

6:6.

7 GILH 9.

8

Ps

40:2.

9

Rom

15:13.

10

Rom

5:5.

1073

368

1812-1829

826