Catholic World News

Liturgy is foundation of personal prayer, Pope tells audience

October 03, 2012

At his public audience on October 3, Pope Benedict XVI said that a life of prayer means “dwelling habitually in the presence of God and knowing Him.”

The Holy Father, who has been devoting his weekly audiences to the topic of prayer, has inaugurated a new series on liturgical prayer. He reminded his Wednesday audience that the life of prayer is founded upon the sacramental life of the Church. Through the divine liturgy, “we make the language of mother Church our own,” he said, and join our own prayers to the prayers of the universal Church.

The Pope pointed to the Lord’s Prayer as an indication of how Jesus asks his followers to pray. “I learn to pray and I nourish my prayer by addressing myself to God as Father, and by praying with others, with the Church,” the Pope said. “In liturgical prayer, especially the Eucharist,” he said, “we speak not only as single individuals, but enter into that 'us' which is the prayerful Church.”

The Pope went on to say that the liturgy is not a matter of “self-expression” for a particular Christian community. Rather, “it is important for all Christians to feel that they are truly part of this universal 'us', which is the foundation and refuge for the 'me', in the Body of Christ which is the Church.”


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  • Posted by: koinonia - Oct. 04, 2012 7:34 AM ET USA

    "It is not the individual...or the group that celebrates the liturgy, but it is primarily God's action through the Church,...Let us ask the Lord to learn every day to live the sacred liturgy, especially the Eucharistic celebration, praying in the "we" of the Church, that directs its gaze not in on itself, but to God..." We proceed from this most fundamental, essential reality. When the focus is elsewhere, something alien is introduced. Again, "it is primarily God's action through the Church."

  • Posted by: koinonia - Oct. 03, 2012 8:37 PM ET USA

    Orientation matters. Problems with orientation among the laity and the prelature have proven devastating to one and all. Not only must we "feel" part of this universal "us", we must realize we can only not be part of this universal "us" by deliberate sin. Each of us receives the indelible character of Baptism which incorporates us into Christ's Mystical Body. If we "dwell habitually in the presence of God" cooperating with and participating in his eternal love, we will enjoy living. Always.