Praying in Christ

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For all the challenge silence presents in prayer, it teaches us that prayer is essentially God’s gift.Prayer is the gift of the Spirit which Jesus pours out in our hearts. The Spirit does not just draw us into companionship with Jesus. As we learn from St Paul (Romans 8), the Spirit is also central to Jesus’ own relationship to the Father, and so prayer in the Spirit also expresses our union with Christ as members of his Body, able to turn to the Father and say, as Jesus said, Abba, Father. And in this way, we discover the completeness of the union to which we are called in Jesus Christ, by our baptism which makes us members of his Body in more than just a metaphorical sense. For in the prayerful movement of the Spirit we come to share in the loving exchange of life that unites the Father and the Son. This is not a permanently comforting or peaceful state; it is often disorientating. For as responsible agents we need to be de-centered and re-centered on him, and not on ourselves. In prayer we discover ourselves, our consciousness, will, and love rediscovered as received from him.This is what makes Christian prayer different. It is not just about our relationship to the source of existence, an existential experience of our human

This is what makes Christian prayer different. It is not just about our relationship to the source of existence, an existential experience of our human created ness, what I called our Godwardness at the start of this book. Rather, it is the discovery that this orientation and inwardness has a particular shape and structure, which is defined for us by our knowledge of Jesus Christ, and the knowledge of the Father we have through faith in him. To use a modern expression, Jesus ‘frames’ and ‘models’ a completely new style of Godwardness, in which we pray to God not as a reality over against us at a distance, but one in whom we discover ourselves sharing a new life, the life of Christ himself. This is what the disciples discovered in Christ, and what the early Christian writings about the Passion and Resurrection explore in terms of a new access to the Father, a new realization of the Fatherhood of God in the Sonship

This is what the disciples discovered in Christ, and what the early Christian writings about the Passion and Resurrection explore in terms of a new access to the Father, a new realization of the Fatherhood of God in the Sonship of Jesus-a Sonship he shares with us in the power of the Holy Spirit.We make this our own by our faith in him, our hope and love.in Christ, we grow to our full stature in the image and likeness of God (Eph. 3.8-19).

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Tis Book explores various ways of Praying and how these leads into deeper, quieter form of prayer.png

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Why attend Mass on Sunday?

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In the Acts of the Apostles, we read of the celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday.”On the first day of the week, we met to break bread” (Acts 20:7),

But the early Christians did not participate in “the breaking of bread” as a matter of obligation.Their Sunday observances consisted more in keeping the day holy by avoiding sin than in taking part in a religious service or abstaining from physical work.A second-century writer, Justin Marty says:”If there is any perjuror or thief among you, let him mend his ways….in this way he will have kept a true and peaceful Sabbath of God.”

In 321 Emperor Constantine promulgated laws prohibiting public work on Sunday.From the Council of Laodicea (370) came the first Church law prescribing workshop and abstaining from physical work in order to keep the Lord’s day holy.The Council of Orleans also dealt with the same subject.

Since the mass is the highest act of homage to God, it naturally becomes the central act of worship on Sunday.Embodying the tradition of Sunday Mass, the old Code of Canon Law laid down as an obligation incumbent on the faithful that they should attend Mass and abstain from servile work on Sundays and feasts of obligation.

On this subject of the Sunday obligation Vatican II says:”By an apostolic tradition which took its origin from the very day of Christ’s resurrection, the Church celebrates the paschal mystery every eighth day: with good reason this, then, bears the name of the Lord’s day or the day of the Lord.For on this day Christ’s faithful should come together into one place so that, by hearing the word of God and taking part in the Eucharist, they may call to mind the passion, the resurrection and the glorification of the Lord Jesus”

The Revised Code of Canon law states:”On Sundays and other days of obligation, the faithful are obligated to assist at Mass.They are also to obtain from such work or business that would inhibit the worship to be given to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the due relaxation of mind and body” (Canon 1247).

One should attend Mass on Sunday not because of the law prescribing it, but because of the reason for which there is a law.The law points out to us a grave obligation, that of setting apart at least one day in the week, in keeping with the Old Testament tradition, to offer worship to God.

There are two main reasons for the Mass obligation on Sunday.

  1. The Mass being the renewal of the offering of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary is the highest act of worship man can offer to God.It is the highest form of adoration, propitiation, and Thanksgiving .hence the Mass is the most appropriate means of offering worship to God on the Lord’s day.
  2.  Moreover, a man by his very nature, that is, in the way God has made him, is dependent on fellow-men and, for his part, has obligations towards them.He should worship God, therefore, not only as an individual but also as a member of society, as a social being.this aspect of worship to is fulfilled when the faithful”come together into one place” to attend Mass.The Mass thus become a communal act of worship where one joins with other in offering worship.

The Sunday mass is, therefore, a grave obligation binding on all the faithful unless prevented by a legitimate reason, such as illness, a great distance from the church, and unavoidable official duties.

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