Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pope St. John Paul II on Prayer



https://tomperna.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/jp-ii-praying-the-rosary.jpgnew page with prayers in Latin and English has been added on this website. It is interesting to read also the below piece by Pope Saint John Paul II:

What is prayer? It is commonly held to be a conversation. In a conversation there is always an “I” and a “thou” or “you”. In this case the Thou is with a capital T. if at first the “I” seems to be the most important element in prayer, prayer teaches that the situation is actually different. The “Thou” is more important because our prayer begins with God. In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul teaches precisely this. According to the Apostle, prayer reflects all created reality; it is in a certain sense a cosmic function.

Man is the priest of all creation; he speaks in its name, but only insofar as he is guided by the Spirit. In order to understand profoundly the meaning of prayers, one should meditate for a long time on the following passage from the Letter to the Romans:
For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. (Romans 8:19-24)  
And here again we come across the Apostle’s words:
The Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. (Romans 8:26)
In prayer, then, the true protagonist is God. The protagonist is Christ, who constantly frees creation from slavery to corruption and leads it towards liberty, for the glory of the children of God. The protagonist is the Holy Spirit, who “comes to the aid of our weakness”. We begin to pray, believing that it is our own initiative that compels us to do so. Instead, we learn that it is always God’s initiative within us, just as Saint Paul has written.

Much as been written about prayer, and further, prayer has been widely experienced in the history of humankind, especially in the history of Israel and Christianity. Man achieves the fullness of prayer not when he expresses himself, but when he lets God be most fully present in prayer.

(Crossing the Threshold of Hope, pp 16-18)