A Pilgrim's Catechism
The Occasional Thoughts of a 21st-Century Roman Catholic on Journey
Towards the Reign of God
Hans Memling: A Young Man at Prayer, National Gallery, London, 1475
What is prayer?
God is present to every human being as the creator is always present to his creation maintaining it in existence but God is also present because the Word is present at every moment challenging the human being to accept and grow in divine life. It is this ever-presence of the Word, even when the human turns away from God in sin, that defines what it means to be human.
Prayer is making oneself conscious of the presence of God, of raising one’s mind and heart to God.
Prayer praises God and gives him glory. Prayer expresses thanks. Prayer admits sin and accepts forgiveness. When human beings are in need they spontaneously cry out to God for assistance. Concern for the needs of others is also expressed in prayer.
It is in prayer that humans acknowledge the presence of the Word in their lives and say “yes” to the offer of divine life and growth in that life.