Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet you believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy1 Peter 1:8

WHAT IS PRAYER?

“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Manuscrits Autobiographiques, C 25r.).

Quotes from the Catholic Catechism:

Prayer as God's gift

2560:"If you knew the gift of God!" (Cf. St. Augustine, De diversis quaestionibus octoginta tribus, 64,4: PL 40,56). The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God's desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.8

2561:"You would have asked him, and he would have given you living water” (Jn 4:10).Paradoxically our prayer of petition is a response to the plea of the living God: "They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water!” (Jer 2:13).Prayer is the response of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response of love to the thirst of the only Son of God (Cf. Jn 7:37-39; 19:28; Isa 12:3; 51:1; Zech 12:10; 13:1).

Prayer as covenant

2563:The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place "to which I withdraw." The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant.

2564:Christian prayer is a covenant relationship between God and man in Christ. It is the action of God and of man, springing forth from both the Holy Spirit and ourselves, wholly directed to the Father, in union with the human will of the Son of God made man.

May we all experience Christ anew this Lent through an increase in our understanding of prayer as both a covenant and gift.  

 

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