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.

"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them."
St Philip Neri

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