Saturday, August 4, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 506 – Part II.

YOUCAT Question n. 506 - Part II. Is prayer not just a sort of conversation with yourself?

(Youcat answer repeated) The distinctive feature about prayer is precisely the fact that one goes from Me to You, from self-centeredness to radical openness. Someone who is really praying can experience the fact that God speaks—and that often he does not speak as we expect and would like.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2744) Prayer is a vital necessity. Proof from the contrary is no less convincing: if we do not allow the Spirit to lead us, we fall back into the slavery of sin (Cf. Gal 5:16-25). How can the Holy Spirit be our life if our heart is far from him? Nothing is equal to prayer; for what is impossible it makes possible, what is difficult, easy.... For it is impossible, utterly impossible, for the man who prays eagerly and invokes God ceaselessly ever to sin (St. John Chrysostom, De Anna 4, 5: PG 54, 666). Those who pray are certainly saved; those who do not pray are certainly damned (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Del gran Mezzo della preghiera).

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Those who are experienced in prayer report that a person very often comes out of a prayer session different from the way he went in. Sometimes expectations are met: you are sad and find consolation; you lack confidence and receive new strength. It can also happen, though, that you would like to forget pressures but are made even more uneasy; that you would like to be left in peace and instead receive an assignment. A real encounter with God - the kind that occurs again and again in prayer - can shatter our preconceptions about both God and prayer.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2745) Prayer and Christian life are inseparable, for they concern the same love and the same renunciation, proceeding from love; the same filial and loving conformity with the Father's plan of love; the same transforming union in the Holy Spirit who conforms us more and more to Christ Jesus; the same love for all men, the love with which Jesus has loved us. "Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he [will] give it to you. This I command you, to love one another" (Jn 15:16-17). He "prays without ceasing" who unites prayer to works and good works to prayer. Only in this way can we consider as realizable the principle of praying without ceasing (Origen, De orat. 12: PG 11, 452c).

(This question: Is prayer not just a sort of conversation with yourself? is continued)

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