Saturday, July 14, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 501 – Part II.


YOUCAT Question n. 501 - Part II. What is vocal prayer?

(Youcat answer repeated) In the first place, prayer is lifting the heart to God. And yet Jesus himself taught his disciples to pray with words. With the Our Father he left us the perfect vocal prayer as his testament to show how we should pray.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2702) The need to involve the senses in interior prayer corresponds to a requirement of our human nature. We are body and spirit, and we experience the need to translate our feelings externally. We must pray with our whole being to give all power possible to our supplication.

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) While praying we should not try to think pious thoughts. We should express what is in our hearts and offer it to God as complaint, petition, praise, and thanks. Often it is the great vocal prayers -the Psalms and hymns of Sacred Scripture, the Our Father, the Hail Mary - that direct us to the true substance of prayer and lead to a kind of free, interior prayer.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2703) This need also corresponds to a divine requirement. God seeks worshippers in Spirit and in Truth, and consequently living prayer that rises from the depths of the soul. He also wants the external expression that associates the body with interior prayer, for it renders him that perfect homage which is his due.

(This question: What is vocal prayer? is continued)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 501 – Part I.


YOUCAT Question n. 501 - Part I. What is vocal prayer?


(Youcat answer) In the first place, prayer is lifting the heart to God. And yet Jesus himself taught his disciples to pray with words. With the Our Father he left us the perfect vocal prayer as his testament to show how we should pray.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2700) Through his Word, God speaks to man. By words, mental or vocal, our prayer takes flesh. Yet it is most important that the heart should be present to him to whom we are speaking in prayer: "Whether or not our prayer is heard depends not on the number of words, but on the fervor of our souls" (St. John Chrysostom, Ecloga de oratione 2: PG 63, 585).

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) While praying we should not try to think pious thoughts. We should express what is in our hearts and offer it to God as complaint, petition, praise, and thanks. Often it is the great vocal prayers -the Psalms and hymns of Sacred Scripture, the Our Father, the Hail Mary - that direct us to the true substance of prayer and lead to a kind of free, interior prayer.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2701) Vocal prayer is an essential element of the Christian life. To his disciples, drawn by their Master's silent prayer, Jesus teaches a vocal prayer, the Our Father. He not only prayed aloud the liturgical prayers of the synagogue but, as the Gospels show, he raised his voice to express his personal prayer, from exultant blessing of the Father to the agony of Gesthemani (Cf. Mt 11:25-26; Mk 14:36).  

(This question: What is vocal prayer? is continued)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 500.

YOUCAT Question n. 500 - Are there various ways to pray?


(Youcat answer) Yes, there is vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplative prayer. All three ways of prayer presuppose recollecting one’s mind and heart.    

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2721) The Christian tradition comprises three major expressions of the life of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplative prayer. They have in common the recollection of the heart. 2721 

Reflecting and meditating 

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2699) The Lord leads all persons by paths and in ways pleasing to him, and each believer responds according to his heart's resolve and the personal expressions of his prayer. However, Christian Tradition has retained three major expressions of prayer: vocal meditative, and contemplative. They have one basic trait in common: composure of heart. This vigilance in keeping the Word and dwelling in the presence of God makes these three expressions intense times in the life of prayer.

(The next question is: What is vocal prayer?)


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 499.

YOUCAT Question n. 499 - When should a person pray?


(Youcat answer) From the earliest times Christians have prayed at least in the morning, at meals, and in the evening. Someone who does not pray regularly will soon not pray at all.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2697) Prayer is the life of the new heart. It ought to animate us at every moment. But we tend to forget him who is our life and our all. This is why the Fathers of the spiritual life in the Deuteronomic and prophetic traditions insist that prayer is a remembrance of God often awakened by the memory of the heart "We must remember God more often than we draw breath" (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. Theo., 27, 1, 4: PG 36, 16). But we cannot pray "at all times" if we do not pray at specific times, consciously willing it. These are the special times of Christian prayer, both in intensity and duration. (CCC 2720) The Church invites the faithful to regular prayer: daily prayers, the Liturgy of the Hours, Sunday Eucharist, the feasts of the liturgical year.      

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Anyone who loves another person and all day long never gives that person a sign of his love does not really love him. So it is with God, too. Anyone who truly seeks him will keep sending him signals of his longing for his company and friendship. Get up in the morning and give the day to God, asking for his blessing and to “be there” in all your meetings and needs. Thank him, especially at mealtimes. At the end of the day, place everything into his hands, ask him for forgiveness, and pray for peace for yourself and others. A great day—full of signs of life that reach God.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2698) The Tradition of the Church proposes to the faithful certain rhythms of praying intended to nourish continual prayer. Some are daily, such as morning and evening prayer, grace before and after meals, the Liturgy of the Hours. Sundays, centered on the Eucharist, are kept holy primarily by prayer. The cycle of the liturgical year and its great feasts are also basic rhythms of the Christian's life of prayer.      

(The next question is: Are there various ways to pray?)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 498.

YOUCAT Question n. 498 - Can you pray anywhere?


(Youcat answer) Yes, you can pray anywhere. Nevertheless a Catholic will always look also for those places where God “dwells” in a special way. Above all these are Catholic churches, where our Lord is present in the tabernacle under the appearance of bread.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2691) The church, the house of God, is the proper place for the liturgical prayer of the parish community. It is also the privileged place for adoration of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. The choice of a favorable place is not a matter of indifference for true prayer. - For personal prayer, this can be a "prayer corner" with the Sacred Scriptures and icons, in order to be there, in secret, before our Father (Cf. Mt 6:6). In a Christian family, this kind of little oratory fosters prayer in common. - In regions where monasteries exist, the vocation of these communities is to further the participation of the faithful in the Liturgy of the Hours and to provide necessary solitude for more intense personal prayer (Cf. PC 7). - Pilgrimages evoke our earthly journey toward heaven and are traditionally very special occasions for renewal in prayer. For pilgrims seeking living water, shrines are special places for living the forms of Christian prayer "in Church."     

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) It is very important for us to pray everywhere: in school, on the subway, during a party, in the midst of our friends. The whole world has to be drenched with blessings. But it is also important for us to visit sacred places, where God waits for us, so to speak, so that we can rest in his presence, be strengthened, replenished, and sent forth by him. A genuine Christian is never just sightseeing when he visits a church. He lingers a moment in silence, adores God, and renews his friendship and love for him.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2696) The most appropriate places for prayer are personal or family oratories, monasteries, places of pilgrimage, and above all the church, which is the proper place for liturgical prayer for the parish community and the privileged place for Eucharistic adoration.

(The next question is:  When should a person pray?)