Thursday, July 12, 2018
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 501 – Part I.
(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 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).