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 well to choose some one good devotion, and to stick to it, and never to abandon it."
St Philip Neri

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"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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