58. A life of praying



   St. Jean Marie Vianney, priest of Ars, France, told us a curious case of prayer: There are in the village a peasant who frequently visited the church while going and returning from his job. He left his hoe and his bundle in the frontdoor, entered and stand on his knees long time in front of the Tabernacle. The Saint, who had been watching him and was surprised of his silence- although he didn’t take his eyes off the altar- asked him:

    -John, what are you asking to our Lord?

    And John answered:

    -I say nothing. I see Him and He sees me.

    A beautiful anecdote to understand how easy is to deal with the Lord!

  A. Answer with one of these words: Paris, Ars, peasant, merchant, watches, sees

  St. Jean Marie Vianney was the priest of

  Who entered to pray in the church? A

  I say nothing. I see Him and He ... me

  Main ideas

1. Jesus invites us to a continual prayer

   Man is a priviliged creature, but has constant needs: he depends on God, who can resolve his necessities, and turns to Him in order solve them by the prayer. Jesus constantly ask His Father for help, and the Apostles frequently saw Him praying (cfr. Luke 5,16; Matthew 14,23). St. Luke remembers how one day “He told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart.” (Luke 18,1). With his example and exhortation the Lord wants us to understand the need for prayer.

2. Times of praying

    Usually, when we are going to meet a famous person we must wait our turn. God doesn’t make us wait, it is just the opposite: He waits for us. It is a great honour to speak with Him by prayers. We can pray in any moment, but it is a good habit to do it in certain moments: while waking up and going to bed, visiting the Blessed Sacrament, after receive communion, before starting to work...We must not forget that the Holy Mass is the best moment to praise Him, be grateful, ask forgiveness and put our needs- and everybody’s- in God’s hands.

3. Ways of praying

    There are infinite ways to pray, because God guide each path, and it doesn’t mean to force anybody. However, Christian tradition teaches the main ways of praying:

    a) Vocal prayer. Is the one made with words, like the Our Father or the Hail Holy Mary.

    b) Mental prayer. Actually, all the prayers are- or must be- mental, in the sense that the soul of the prayer is inside our devotion, but we called “mental” because the heaviest part of our intentions with God is in our mind and not in our words. Thought, imagination, emotions and desires take part, confronting divine truths against our own existence to adapt it to God’s love.

  B. Choose one of these words: necessities, powers, continue, faint, prayer, wash, lay, vocal or mental.

  Man is a priviliged creature but has some

  It is necessary to constantly pray and not

  In certain moments it is good to

  We use to pray while ... ourselves

  The prayer made by words is

  When we are acting with our mind

  While praying the Our Father or Hail Holy Mary

  When thoughts and imagination take part

4. Qualities of praying

    While talking with God, we must be careful in our trait with God in the same way we act with education with other people. A good prayer must be:

    -Devout. We must go to pray as His sons, because we are.

    - Modest. We always need God and we are sinners.

    - Confident. He loves us as a Father, we trust Him and are safe about what He has prepared.

    - Resolute. Ask without fatigue or weariness.

    Sometimes, it seems that God doesn’t give us what we are asking for. We must examine then if our requests are worthy necessary for our salvation, or if our prayers are well done. It could be that our requests are not what we need, or even be inappropriate.

5. Value of prayer

    As we get in the habit of prayer, we are closer to God and have a better understanding of His plans about us and about the others, fixing the world for good. Prayer give us strenght to fight evil and do good; it helps us to comfront life troubles with serenity and joy. Prayer achieves us the grace of being faithful to Christ until the end, participating with Him in the world’s redemption and in the salvation of men.

Curso de Catequesis. Don Jaime Pujol Balcells and Don Jesús Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. With permission from the authors.

  Going to pray as His sons is: devout, modest, confident, resolute

  Going to pray as His sons is

  Ask someting again and again without fatigue is

  Being in need and being sinners

  Knowing He loves as a Father

  We understand God’s plans over

  Questions from the Catechism

1. Have we an obligation of praying?  We must the obligation of praying because Jesus Christ recommend us to do it, and it is the ordinary method to achieve grace and God’s favour.

2. How must we pray?  We must pray with the proper attention, modesty, confidence and resolution.

3. Does God listen our prayers?  God always listens our prayers and concede us what is better for our salvation.

4. Could we ask God for health and other temporal goods?  We could request God for health and other temporal goods, as long as we obey His will.

  D. Choose the right answer. Options are below: A, B, C, D


  Have we an obligation of praying?

  How must we pray?

  Does God listen our prayers?

  Could we ask God for health and other temporal goods?



  Yes, He concedes us what is better for our salvation.


  Yes, because Jesus Christ recommend us to do it, and it is the ordinary method to achieve grace and God’s favour.


 As long as we obey His will.


  With the proper attention, modesty, confidence and resolution.

  Intentions for a Christian life

- To turn to God in every moment: in the joys and sorrows, in needs and abundance.

- To dedicate some minutes each day to make mental prayer.

- To pray with piety and confidence our vocal orations.

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