GDC 85d: Teaching to Pray

The fourth fundamental task of catechesis involves the entry into the spiritual life:

Communion with Jesus Christ leads the disciples to assume the attitude of prayer and contemplation which the Master himself had. To learn to pray with Jesus is to pray with the same sentiments with which he turned to the Father: adoration, praise, thanksgiving, filial confidence, supplication and awe for his glory. All of these sentiments are reflected in the Our Father, the prayer which Jesus taught his disciples and which is the model of all Christian prayer. The “handing on of the Our Father” (RCIA 25 and 188-191) is a summary of the entire Gospel (Catechism 2761) and is therefore a true act of catechesis. When catechesis is permeated by a climate of prayer, the assimilation of the entire Christian life reaches its summit. This climate is especially necessary when the catechumen and those to be catechized are confronted with the more demanding aspects of the Gospel and when they feel weak or when they discover the mysterious action of God in their lives.

The Lord’s Prayer is indeed prayer par excellence. Note also the importance given to the “climate of prayer.” Does this climate permeate not only Catholic schools, but also the non-liturgical, non-educational aspects of Catholic life? Does every meeting begin and end with prayer, and is it part of something more than a perfunctory requirement? In other words, are Catholics formed to pray, and more, are they formed to like it?

I also like to see prayer emphasized as a tool for confronting the more demanding aspects of the Gospel life. Too often Catholics see it as an act of the will (obey your superiors!) or a matter of the intellect (if you were a smarter Catholic …). Confirmity to Christ is far, far more than being an orthodoxy-informed dittohead.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in General Directory for Catechesis, post-conciliar catechetical documents. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to GDC 85d: Teaching to Pray

  1. Pingback: GIRM 81: The Lord’s Prayer « Catholic Sensibility

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