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Chapter 35. God Calls Us to Pray • 469

a daily, sustained, and structured manner is essential for becoming a

prayerful person. The Holy Spirit guides the Church at prayer through

her reading of Scripture, her celebration of the liturgy, and the practice

of faith, hope, and love.

Daily familiarity with Scripture is a rich source of prayer. We need

to do more than read or study Scripture; we should also converse with

God, whose Spirit lies within the text and who draws us to appreciate

“the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:8).

By our active participation in the liturgy, the prayer of the Church,

we encounter the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who impart

to us the gifts of salvation. Spiritual writers tell us our heart can be an

altar of adoration and praise. Prayer internalizes the liturgy both during

and after its celebration (cf. CCC, no. 2655).

Faith puts vitality in prayer because it brings us to a personal rela-

tionship with Christ. Hope carries our prayer to our final goal of perma-

nent union with God. Love, poured into our heart by the Holy Spirit, is

the source and destiny of prayer.

St. John Vianney (1786-1859) wrote: “My God, if my tongue cannot

say in every moment that I love you, I want my heart to repeat it to you

as often as I draw breath” (CCC, no. 2658, citing



“Because God blesses the human heart, it can in return bless him

who is the source of every blessing” (CCC, no. 2645).

Christian prayer is always Trinitarian. The sweep of our prayer

should direct us toward the Father. But access to the Father is through

Jesus Christ. Therefore, we also address our prayer to Christ and can do

so using titles of Jesus found in the New Testament: Son of God, Word

of God, Lamb of God, Son of the Virgin, Lord and Savior, etc. Christ is

the door to God.

We must never tire of praying to Jesus. Yet it is the Holy Spirit who

helps us to draw near to Jesus.

“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1

Cor 12:3). The Church invites us to invoke the Holy Spirit as the

interior Teacher of Christian prayer. (CCC, no. 2681)