Catechism of the Catholic Church

618 Part Four 2572 As a final stage in the purification of his faith, Abraham, “who had received the promises,” 13 is asked to sacrifice the son God had given him. Abraham’s faith does not weaken (“God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering.”), for he “con­ sidered that God was able to raise men even from the dead.” 14 And so the father of believers is conformed to the likeness of the Father who will not spare his own Son but will deliver him up for us all. 15 Prayer restores man to God’s likeness and enables him to share in the power of God’s love that saves the multitude. 16 2573 God renews his promise to Jacob, the ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel. 17 Before confronting his elder brother Esau, Jacob wrestles all night with a mysterious figure who refuses to reveal his name, but who blesses him before leaving him at dawn. From this account, the spiritual tradition of the Church has retained the symbol of prayer as a battle of faith and as the triumph of perseverance. 18 Moses and the prayer of the mediator 2574 Once the promise begins to be fulfilled (Passover, the Exodus, the gift of the Law, and the ratification of the covenant), the prayer of Moses becomes the most striking example of inter­ cessory prayer, which will be fulfilled in “the one mediator be­ tween God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 19 2575 Here again the initiative is God’s. From themidst of the burn­ ing bush he callsMoses. 20 This event will remain one of the primordial images of prayer in the spiritual tradition of Jews andChristians alike. When “the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob” calls Moses to be his servant, it is because he is the living God who wants men to live. God reveals himself in order to save them, though he does not do this alone or despite them: he callsMoses to be his messenger, an associate in his compassion, his work of salvation. There is something of a di­ vine plea in this mission, and only after long debate does Moses at­ tune his own will to that of the Savior God. But in the dialogue in which God confides in him, Moses also learns how to pray: he balks, makes excuses, above all questions: and it is in response to his 13 Heb 11:17. 14 Gen 22:8; Heb 11:19. 15 Rom 8:32. 16 Cf. Rom 8:16-21. 17 Cf. Gen 28:10-22. 18 Cf. Gen 32:24-30; Lk 18:1-8. 19 1 Tim 2:5. 20 Ex 3:1-10. 603 162 62 205