Catechism of the Catholic Church

Christian Prayer 625 2601 “He was praying in a certain place and when he had ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’” 45 In seeing the Master at prayer the disciple of Christ also wants to pray. By contemplating and hearing the Son, the master of prayer, the children learn to pray to the Father. 2602 Jesus often draws apart to pray in solitude, on a mountain, preferably at night. 46 He includes all men in his prayer, for he has taken on humanity in his incarnation, and he offers them to the Father when he offers himself. Jesus, the Word who has become flesh, shares by his human prayer in all that “his brethren” experi­ ence; he sympathizes with their weaknesses in order to free them. 47 It was for this that the Father sent him. His words and works are the visible manifestation of his prayer in secret. 2603 The evangelists have preserved two more explicit prayers of­ fered by Christ during his public ministry. Each begins with thanks­ giving. In the first, Jesus confesses the Father, acknowledges, and blesses himbecause he has hidden themysteries of the Kingdom from those who think themselves learned and has revealed them to infants, the poor of the Beatitudes. 48 His exclamation, “Yes, Father!” expresses the depth of his heart, his adherence to the Father’s “good pleasure,” echoing hismother’s Fiat at the time of his conception and prefiguring what he will say to the Father in his agony. The whole prayer of Jesus is contained in this loving adherence of his human heart to the mystery of the will of the Father. 49 2604 The second prayer, before the raising of Lazarus, is re­ corded by St. John. 50 Thanksgiving precedes the event: “Father, I thank you for having heard me,” which implies that the Father always hears his petitions. Jesus immediately adds: “I know that you always hear me,” which implies that Jesus, on his part, con- stantly made such petitions. Jesus’ prayer, characterized by thanks­ giving, reveals to us how to ask: before the gift is given, Jesus commits himself to the One who in giving gives himself. The Giver is more precious than the gift; he is the “treasure”; in him abides his Son’s heart; the gift is given “as well.” 51 45 Lk 11:1. 46 Cf. Mk 1:35; 6:46; Lk 5:16. 47 Cf. Heb 2:12, 15; 4:15. 48 Cf. Mt 11:25-27 and Lk 10:21-23. 49 Cf. Eph 1:9. 50 Cf. Jn 11:41-42. 51 Mt 6:21, 33. 2765 616 2673 2546 494 478