The Power of Prayer

The Catechism on Prayer

The fourth and final section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
is devoted to the subject of Christian Prayer,
composed of a total of 308 paragraphs numbered from 2558 to 2865.
The Catechism describes prayer as a "vital and personal relationship
with the living and true God" (2558). In answering the question
"What is Prayer?",
it quotes St. Therese of Lisieux, who described prayer as
"a surge of the heart . . . a simple look turned toward heaven . . .
a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy" (2558).
It also quotes St. John Damascene, who defined prayer as
"the raising of one's mind and heart to God or
the requesting of good things from God" (2559).
The Catechism describes prayer as God's gift, as covenant,
and as communion. It tells that "whether prayer is expressed
in words or gestures, it is the whole man who prays" (2562)
and explains that the heart, mentioned "more than a thousand times"
in Scripture, needs to be involved:
"If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain" (2562).
The Catechism describes the heart as "the place 'to which I withdraw'
. . . our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others
. . the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives . . .
the place of truth, where we choose life or death . . .
the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation:
it is the place of covenant" (2563). Our praying and our prayer should,
therefore, involve our heart, more than any other part of us.
May the prayers that we say involve our hearts as well as our minds
and voices, so that we can participate fully in
"the living relationship of the children of God with their Father
who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ
and with the Holy Spirit" (2565).

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St. John Vianney, Prayer
I love you, O my God, and my only desire is to love you
until the last breath of my life. I love you, O my infinitely
lovable God, and I would rather die loving you,
than live without loving you. I love you, Lord,
and the only grace I ask is to love you eternally . . . .
My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love you,
I want my heart to repeat it to you as often as I draw breath.

© by Danny Hahlbohm
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Places Favorable for Prayer
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2691

The church, the house of God, is the proper place
for the liturgical prayer of the parish community.
It is also the privileged place for adoration
of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
The choice of a favorable place is not a matter
of indifference for true prayer.

For personal prayer, this can be a "prayer corner"
with the Sacred Scriptures and icons, in order to be there,
in secret, before our Father. In a Christian family,
this kind of little oratory fosters prayer in common.
In regions where monasteries exist, the vocation
of these communities is to further the participation
of the faithful in the Liturgy of the Hours
and to provide necessary solitude for
more intense personal prayer.
Pilgrimages evoke our earthly journey toward heaven
and are traditionally very special occasions
for renewal in prayer. For pilgrims seeking living water,
shrines are special places for
living the forms of Christian prayer "in Church."

© by Danny Hahlbohm
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Prayer of Solace

May Christ support us all the day long,
till the shadows lengthen,
and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over
and our work is done.
Then in his mercy
may he give us a safe lodging,
and holy rest and peace at the last.
(attributed to John Cardinal Newman)

© by Danny Hahlbohm
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God Alone Suffices!

I offer you, Lord,
my thoughts:
to be fixed on you;
my words:
to have you for their theme;
my actions:
to reflect my love for you;
my sufferings:
to be endured for your greater glory.
I want to do what you ask of me:
in the way you ask,
for as long as you ask,
because you ask it.
I pray, Lord,
that you enlighten my mind,
inflame my will,
purify my heart,
and sanctify my soul
(Pope Clement XI)

O Mary,
Mother of God and my Mother,
pray also to Jesus for me
(St. Alphonsus).

Mary, Mother of the Unborn

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
I love you very much.
I beg you to spare the
life of the unborn child
that I have spiritually
adopted who is in
danger of abortion.
Fulton J. Sheen

© by Danny Hahlbohm
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Shine Through Me

Dear Jesus, help me to spread
Your Fragrance everywhere I go.
Penetrate and possess my whole
being so utterly that all my life
may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me and be so in me,
that every soul I come in contact
with may feel Your Presence in my soul:
let them look up and see no longer me--
but only Jesus.
Saint John Neuman


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