Sunday, June 17, 2018
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 486 a.
(Youcat answer) God, who knows us through and through, knows what we need. Nevertheless, God wants us toask, to turn to him in times of need, to cry out, implore, lament, call upon him, indeed, even to struggle with him in prayer.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 2629) The vocabulary of supplication in the New Testament is rich in shades of meaning: ask, beseech, plead, invoke, entreat, cry out, even "struggle in prayer" (Cf. Rom 15:30; Col 4:12). Its most usual form, because the most spontaneous, is petition: by prayer of petition we express awareness of our relationship with God. We are creatures who are not our own beginning, not the masters of adversity, not our own last end. We are sinners who as Christians know that we have turned away from our Father. Our petition is already a turning back to him.
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) Certainly God does not need our petitions in order to help us. It is for our own sake that we are supposed to offer prayers of petition. Someone who does not ask and does not want to ask shuts himself up in himself. Only a person who asks opens himself and turns to the Author of all good. Someone who asks goes back home to God. Thus the prayer of petition brings man into the right relationship to God, who respects our freedom.
(CCC 2630) The New Testament contains scarcely any prayers of lamentation, so frequent in the Old Testament. In the risen Christ the Church's petition is buoyed by hope, even if we still wait in a state of expectation and must be converted anew every day. Christian petition, what St. Paul calls "groaning," arises from another depth, that of creation "in labor pains" and that of ourselves "as we wait for the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved" (Rom 8:22-24). In the end, however, "with sighs too deep for words" the Holy Spirit "helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words" (Rom 8:26).