http://bit.ly/BeliefBriefs-Prayer DOWNLOAD: Resource sheet PDF
What's the point of prayer? If we've grown up Catholic, we might take for granted that we can talk to God.
Why raise our hearts and minds to God?
The Catholic Church teaches that we ought to believe in, celebrate, and live from the mystery of faith in a "vital and personal relationship with the living and true God."
A vital and personal relationship. With the living and true God.
This relationship, says the Catechism, is prayer.
Prayer is our response to God's continuous, loving call to encounter Him. In prayer, we give what is most personal and valuable in our busy lives: our time, attention, and our very presence. We give ourselves.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we find the words, the silences, and the actions of prayer. We open our hearts to the Lord so that we can hear His voice and let Him lead us deeper into communion with Him as we go through life's ups and downs, trying to grow in faith and love as a disciple.
We pray because we need help. We ask for forgiveness for our sins, for strength in times of trial, and for the grace to 'live lives worthy of our calling'. We trust that we are not alone.
We pray because we have been blessed abundantly; we express our gratitude to God.
We pray because others need our prayers.
We praise God. We realize that God is God, and we are not!
We pray so that we can become people of hope in a sometimes dark world, proclaiming the Gospel with our lives.
St. Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. How might this happen in your life?
Prayerfully read and reflect upon Mary's response to the angel Gabriel in Luke 1.26-38, and to her cousin Elizabeth, in
Luke 1.39-56. What does she teach us about how to pray?
Cardinal Thomas Collins, Pastoral Letter on the Holy Name of Jesus
Thirsting for God: Daily Meditations. By Mother Teresa and Angelo Scolozzi, MC III.O (Compiler). Published July 2013.
"The Hour that Made His Day," United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, (Washington, DC: USCCB Publishing, 2006), pp. 461-462. Reflections of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
"Rummaging for God: Praying Backward Through Your Day," by Fr. Dennis Hamm, SJ.