Choose a topic from Part 3a:

21. The Prayer of Christ

1. A prayer, as petition, is asking God to fulfillone's wish or will. Now, the human will of Christ is finite,and hence not capable, without divine power, of carrying out orachieving all that it wishes. Therefore, it is fitting that Christas man should pray.

2. The sentient appetites (which we sometimes call theaffections or desires of the heart) are not in themselves capableof making a prayer. For, in themselves, the sentient appetites areof the order of sense, and prayer is of the order of reason, thatis, of the order of will enlightened by intellect. The will makes aprayer that the affections and desires of the heart be fulfilled,and such was Christ's prayer: "Let this chalicepass." The sensitive will made this prayer; then the will asreason made a better prayer, "Not my will, but thine bedone," and so subjected all to God.

3. Christ prayed for himself: for example, when he prayedfor the Resurrection (John 17:1): "Father, glorify thySon"; and also when he prayed to be spared the suffering ofthe Passion. It is becoming that Christ should pray thus, for so heacknowledges the truth that God is the author of his human nature.Besides, he gives us a valuable example of making petition to Godin all our needs.

4. The perfect will of Christ as man (that is, the willas reason inChrist) never willed anything other thanwhat he knew, in the fullness of his knowledge, to be the will ofGod. Therefore every absolute will-act of Christ as man wasfulfilled; every prayer of Christ was answered.

"It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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