Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART FOUR CHRISTIAN PRAYER S ection O ne P rayer in the C hristian L ife 2558 “Great is the mystery of the faith!” The Church professes this mystery in the Apostles’ Creed ( Part One ) and celebrates it in the sacramental liturgy ( Part Two ), so that the life of the faithful may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father ( Part Three ). This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer. W hat I s P rayer ? 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. 1 Prayer as God’s gift 2559 “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” 2 But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the depths” of a humble and contrite heart? 3 He who humbles himself will be exalted; 4 humility is the foundation of prayer. Only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,” 5 are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. “Man is a beggar before God.” 6 1 St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Manuscrits autobiographiques, C 25r. 2 St. John Damascene, De fide orth. 3, 24: PG 94, 1089C. 3 Ps 130:1. 4 Cf. Lk 18:9-14. 5 Rom 8:26. 6 St. Augustine, Sermo 56, 6, 9: PL 38, 381. 2613 2763