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.

"What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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