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Christian Prayer

641

whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God

who loved him and who gave himself up for him.

17

2667

This simple invocation of faith developed in the tradition of

prayer under many forms in East and West. The most usual formulation,

transmitted by the spiritual writers of the Sinai, Syria, and Mt. Athos, is

the invocation, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.”

It combines the Christological hymn of

Philippians

2:6-11 with the cry of

the publican and the blind men begging for light.

18

By it the heart is opened

to human wretchedness and the Savior’s mercy.

2668

The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of

praying always. When the holy name is repeated often by a humbly

attentive heart, the prayer is not lost by heaping up empty phrases,

19

but

holds fast to the word and “brings forth fruit with patience.”

20

This prayer

is possible “at all times” because it is not one occupation among others but

the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures

every action in Christ Jesus.

2669

The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the

Heart of Jesus

just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his

Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins.

Christian prayer loves to follow

the way of the cross

in the Savior’s steps.

The stations from the Praetorium to Golgotha and the tomb trace the way

of Jesus, who by his holy Cross has redeemed the world.

“Come, Holy Spirit”

2670

“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

21

Every time we begin to pray to Jesus it is the Holy Spirit who draws

us on the way of prayer by his prevenient grace. Since he teaches us

to pray by recalling Christ, how could we not pray to the Spirit too?

That is why the Church invites us to call upon the Holy Spirit every

day, especially at the beginning and the end of every important action.

If the Spirit should not be worshiped, how can he divinize

me through Baptism? If he should be worshiped, should he

not be the object of adoration?

22

2671

The traditional form of petition to the Holy Spirit is to invoke

the Father through Christ our Lord to give us the Consoler Spirit.

23

Jesus insists on this petition to bemade in his name at the verymoment

17

Rom

10:13;

Acts

2:21; 3:15-16;

Gal

2:20.

18 Cf.

Mk

10:46-52;

Lk

18:13.

19 Cf.

Mt

6:7.

20 Cf.

Lk

8:15.

21

1 Cor

12:3.

22 St. Gregory of Nazianzus,

Oratio,

31, 28: PG 36, 165.

23 Cf.

Lk

11:13.

2616

435

478

1674

683

2001

1310