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Catechism of the Catholic Church

V. PRAYER OF PRAISE

2639 Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because HE IS. It shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing him in glory. By praise, the Spirit is joined to our spirits to bear witness that we are children of God, 121 testifying to the only Son in whom we are adopted and by whom we glorify the Father. Praise embraces the other forms of prayer and carries them toward him who is its source and goal: the "one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist." 122

2640 St. Luke in his gospel often expresses wonder and praise at the marvels of Christ and in his Acts of the Apostles stresses them as actions of the Holy Spirit: the community of Jerusalem, the invalid healed by Peter and John, the crowd that gives glory to God for that, and the pagans of Pisidia who "were glad and glorified the word of God." 123

2641 "[Address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart." 124 Like the inspired writers of the New Testament, the first Christian communities read the Book of Psalms in a new way, singing in it the mystery of Christ. In the newness of the Spirit, they also composed hymns and canticles in the light of the unheard-of event that God accomplished in his Son: his Incarnation, his death which conquered death, his Resurrection, and Ascension to the right hand of the Father. 125 Doxology, the praise of God, arises from this "marvelous work" of the whole economy of salvation. 126

2642 The Revelation of "what must soon take place," the Apocalypse, is borne along by the songs of the heavenly liturgy 127 but also by the intercession of the "witnesses" (martyrs). 128 The prophets and the saints, all those who were slain on earth for their witness to Jesus, the vast throng of those who, having come through the great tribulation, have gone before us into the Kingdom, all sing the praise and glory of him who sits on the throne, and of the Lamb. 129 In communion with them, the Church on earth also sings these songs with faith in the midst of trial. By means of petition and intercession, faith hopes against all hope and gives thanks to the "Father of lights," from whom "every perfect gift" comes down. 130 Thus faith is pure praise.

2643 The Eucharist contains and expresses all forms of prayer: it is "the pure offering" of the whole Body of Christ to the glory of God's name 131 and, according to the traditions of East and West, it is the "sacrifice of praise."

IN BRIEF:

2644 The Holy Spirit who teaches the Church and recalls to her all that Jesus said also instructs her in the life of prayer, inspiring new expressions of the same basic forms of prayer: blessing, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise.

2645 Because God blesses the human heart, it can in return bless him who is the source of every blessing.

2646 Forgiveness, the quest for the Kingdom, and every true need are objects of the prayer of petition.

2647 Prayer of intercession consists in asking on behalf of another. It knows no boundaries and extends to one's enemies.

2648 Every joy and suffering, every event and need can become the matter for thanksgiving which, sharing in that of Christ, should fill one's whole life: "Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thess 5:18).

2649 Prayer of praise is entirely disinterested and rises to God, lauds him, and gives him glory for his own sake, quite beyond what he has done, but simply because HE IS.

NOTES:

1 Ps 8:5; 8:1.

2 Cf. Acts 17:27.

3 Gen 3:9, 13.

4 Heb 10:5-7.

5 Cf. Gen 4:4, 26; Gen 5:24.

6 Gen 6:9; 8:20-9:17.

7 Gen 9:8-16.

8 Gen 12:4.

9 Cf. Gen 15:2 f.

10 Cf. Gen 15:6; 17:1 f.

11 Cf. Gen 18:1-15; Lk 1:26-38.

12 Cf. Gen 18:16-33.

13 Heb 11:17.

14 Gen 22:8; Heb 11:19

15 Rom 8:32.

16 Cf. Rom 8:16-21.

17 Cf. Gen 28:10-22.

18 Cf. Gen 32:24-30; Lk 18:1-8.

19 I Tim 2:5.

20 Ex 3:1-10.

21 Ex 33:11.

22 Num 12:3, 7-8.

23 Cf. Ex 34:6.

24 Cf. Ex 17:8-12; Num 12:13-14.

25 Ps 106:23; cf. Ex 32:1-34:9.

26 I Sam 3:9-10; cf. 1:9-18.

27 I Sam 12:23.

28 Cf. 2 Sam 7:18-29.

29 I Kings 8:10-61.

30 Ps 24:6.

31 I Kings 18:39.

32 Jas 5:16b-18.

33 Cf. I Kings 17:7-24.

34 Cf. I Kings 19:1-14; cf. Ex 33:19-23.

35 2 Cor 4:6; cf. Lk 9:30-35.

36 Cf. Am 7:2, 5; Isa 6:5, 8, 11; Jer 1:6; 15:15-18; 20:7-18.

37 Ezra 9:6-15; Neh 1:4-11; Jon 2:3-10; Tob 3:11-16; Jdt 9:2-14.

38 Cf. GILH, nn. 100-109.

39 DV 2.

40 St. Ambrose, In psalmum 1 enarratio, 1, 9: PL 14, 924; LH, Saturday, wk 10, OR.

41 Cf. Lk 1:49; 2:19; 2:51.

42 Lk 2:49.

43 Cf. Lk 3:21; 9:28; 22:41-44.

44 Cf. Lk 6:12; 9:18-20; 22:32.

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.

52 Cf. Jn 17.

53 Lk 22:42.

54 Lk 23:34.

55 Lk 23:43.

56 Jn 19:26-27.

57 Jn 19:28.

58 Mk 15:34; cf. Ps 22:2.

59 Jn 19:30.

60 Lk 23:46.

61 Cf. Mk 15:37; Jn 19:30b.

62 Ps 2:7-8; cf. Acts 13:33.

63 Heb 5:7-9.

64 Cf. Mt 5:23-24, 44-45; 6:7,14-15, 21, 25, 33.

65 Cf. Mt 7:7-11,13-14.

66 Mk 11:24.

67 Mk 9:23; cf. Mt 21:22.

68 Cf. Mk 6:6; Mt 8:26.

69 Cf. Mt 8:10; 15:28.

70 Cf. Mt 7:21.

71 Cf. Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2; Jn 4:34.

72 Mk 1:15.

73 Cf. Mk 13; Lk 21:34-36.

74 Cf. Lk 22:40, 46.

75 Cf. Lk 11:5-13.

76 Cf. Lk 18:1-8.

77 Cf. Lk 18:9-14.

78 Jn 14:13.

79 Jn 14:6.

80 Cf. Jn 14:13-14.

81 Jn 14:16-17.

82 Cf. Jn 14:23-26; 15:7, 16; 16:13-15; 16:23-27.

83 Jn 16:24.

84 Cf. Mk 1:40-41; 5:36; 7:29; Cf. Lk 23:39-43.

85 Cf. Mk 2:5; 5:28; Lk 7:37-38.

86 Mt 9:27; Mk 10:48.

87 St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 85, 1: PL 37, 1081; cf. GILH 7.

88 Cf. Lk 1:38; Acts 1:14.

89 Cf. Jn 2:1-12.

90 Cf. Jn 19:25-27.

91 Cf. Lk 1:46-55.

92 Acts 2:1.

93 Acts 1:14.

94 Cf. Jn 14:26.

95 Acts 2:42.

96 Cf. Lk 24:27, 44.

97 Cf. Eph 1:3-14; 2 Cor 1:3 7; I Pet 1:3-9.

98 Cf. § Cor 13:14; Rom 15:5-6,13; Eph 6:23-24.

99 Cf. Ps 95:1-6.

100 Ps 24, 9-10.

101 Cf. St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 62,16: PL 36, 757-758.

102 Cf. Rom 15:30; Col 4:12.

103 Rom 8:22-24.

104 Rom 8:26.

105 Lk 18:13.

106 I Jn 3:22; cf. 1:7-2:2.

107 Cf. Mt 6:10, 33; Lk 11:2,13.

108 Cf. Acts 6:6; 13:3.

109 Cf. Rom 10:1; Eph 1:16-23; Phil 1911; Col 1:3-6; 4:3-4, 12.

110 Cf. Jn 14:13.

111 Cf. Jas 1:5-8; Eph 5:20; Phil 4:6-7; Col 3:16-17; I Thess 5:17-18.

112 Cf. Rom 8:34; I Jn 2:1; I Tim 2:5-8.

113 Heb 7:25.

114 Rom 8:26-27.

115 Phil 2:4; cf. Acts 7:60; Lk 23:28, 34.

116 Cf. Acts 12:5; 20:36; 21:5; 2 Cor 9:14.

117 Cf. Eph 6:18-20; Col 4:3-4; I Thess 5:25.

118 Cf. 2 Thess 1:11; Col 1:3; Phil 1:3-4.

119 I Tim 2:1; cf. Rom 12:14; 10:1.

120 I Thess 5:18; Col 4:2.

121 Cf. Rom 8:16.

122 I Cor 8:6.

123 Acts 2:47; 3:9; 4:21; 13:48.

124 Eph 5:19; Col 3:16.

125 Cf. Phil 2:6-11; Col 1:15-20; Eph 5:14; 2 Tim 3:16; 6:15-16; § Tim 2:11-13.

126 Cf. Eph 1:3-14; Rom 16:25-27; Eph 3:20-21; Jude 24-25.

127 Cf. Rev 4:8-11; 5:9-14; 7:10-12.

128 Rev 6:10.

129 Cf. Rev 18:24; 19:1-8.

130 Jas 1:17.

131 Cf. Mal 1:11.

Notes:

121 Cf. Rom 8:16.

122 I Cor 8:6.

123 Acts 2:47; 3:9; 4:21; 13:48.

124 Eph 5:19; Col 3:16.

125 Cf. Phil 2:6-11; Col 1:15-20; Eph 5:14; 2 Tim 3:16; 6:15-16; § Tim 2:11-13.

126 Cf. Eph 1:3-14; Rom 16:25-27; Eph 3:20-21; Jude 24-25.

127 Cf. Rev 4:8-11; 5:9-14; 7:10-12.

128 Rev 6:10.

129 Cf. Rev 18:24; 19:1-8.

130 Jas 1:17.

131 Cf. Mal 1:11.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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