Tag: forms of prayer

Eucharist; the greatest form prayer – Pope explains why

Eucharist; the greatest form prayer – Pope explains why

Pope Benedict XVI. Credit: Mazur
Pope Benedict XVi

Vatican City, (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope Benedict XVI continued his series of reflections on prayer at his Jan. 11 general audience by explaining why the Eucharist stands at “the apex” of all Christian prayers.

“By participating in the Eucharist we have an extraordinary experience of the prayer which Jesus made, and continues to make for us all,” he said to the 7,000 pilgrims gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

Jesus offers us this prayer, he taught, so that “the evil we encounter in our lives may not triumph, and that the transforming power of Christ’s death and resurrection may act within each of us.”

The Pope’s reflections today were part of his ongoing set of discourses on prayer. He devoted his Jan. 11 words to explaining the deep significance of the Last Supper in salvation history, with “its overtones of the Passover and the commemoration of Israel’s liberation.”
 
This connection is why the prayer of Jesus “echoes the Hebrew berakah, which includes both thanksgiving and the gift of a blessing.” Christ’s act of “breaking the bread and offering the cup on the night before he died” thereby becomes “the sign of his redemptive self-oblation in obedience to the Father’s will,” the Pope said.

In doing so, Pope Benedict taught, Jesus revealed himself as “the true paschal lamb” which brings the ancient worship of the Jewish people to fulfillment.

It was also Christ’s wish that the supper be “something special, different from other gatherings,” and so he “gave something completely new: Himself,” in anticipation of his cross and resurrection.

“He offered in advance the life that would shortly be taken from him, thus transforming his violent death into a free act of the giving of self, for others and to others. The violence he suffered became an active, free and redemptive sacrifice.”
 
The Pope said that in contemplating the words and gestures of Jesus “we can clearly see that it was in his intimate and constant relationship with the Father that he accomplished the gesture of leaving to his followers, and to all of us, the sacrament of love.”

He also gave support to his disciples, knowing the difficulty they had “in understanding that the way of God had to pass through the Paschal mystery of death and resurrection, which was anticipated in the offer of bread and wine.”

Pope Benedict noted that even today the Eucharist is “the food of pilgrims” as well as “a source of strength” for those who are “tired, weary and disoriented.”

He concluded his reflection by praying that the Eucharist “always remain the apex of all our prayers,” especially through proper preparation for it, including receiving the Sacrament of Penance.
 
Among the more noticeable guests at this morning’s general audience was a live Cuban crocodile brought to the Vatican by the staff of Rome’s zoo, the “Bioparco,” which is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The Cuban crocodile is an endangered species and can only be found in a small part of Cuba. Today’s specimen will be returned to the country in March which, by coincidence, is also when Pope Benedict visits the Caribbean island

Great Catholic Prayers

Great Catholic Prayers

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Catholic Prayers you should know

Basic Roman Catholic prayers

Traditional, written prayers will form the backbone of your prayer life.

These basic Catholic prayers are the five most fundamental ones:

  • The sign of the cross
  • The Our Father
  • The Hail Mary
  • The Glory Be
  • The Apostles Creed

Catholic prayers throughout the day

Be sure to see the article daily Catholic prayer for good daily prayers, and suggestions on using these prayers. Make these prayers the foundation of a strong prayer life!

  • Morning Prayer
  • Grace before meals
  • Prayer Before a Day’s Work
  • Prayer to Keep the Presence of God
  • The Angelus
  • Daily Examination at Night
  • Act of Contrition

Catholic prayers about Mary 
(Marian prayers)

The article prayers to Virgin Mary contains these wonderful prayers about or to the Blessed Mother:

  • The Hail Mary
  • The Angelus
  • Hail Holy Queen
  • The Magnificat
  • The Memorare
  • Loving Mother of the Redeemer
  • Miraculous Medal Prayer

And of course, no section on prayers & Mary would be complete without mentioning the Holy Rosary! There’s a whole article just about how to pray the Rosary. The Rosary is one of the most outstanding Catholic prayers; check it out!

How to pray

A prayer life is essential to the Christian life — it is “a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God.” (Catechism, 2558)

Christ promises to give you “living water” if you simply come to him and ask (John 4:10). Sounds good!

But how?

  • You do not need a lot of time
  • It’s simple to begin
  • You can start right now

The keys to a solid life of prayer are very simple things.

  • The How to pray section has detailed guidance in plain language.
  • Daily Catholic prayer provides a brief set of habits that are essential to successful prayer.
  • Live in the presence of God with this set of easy habits for home & work.
  • Christian meditation, or mental prayer, will be the backbone of a lifetime of fruitful prayer.

So dig in and start your new prayer life today!