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Types of Prayer

"Prayer in the events of each day and each moment is one of the secrets of the kingdom revealed to ‘little children,' to the servants of Christ, to the poor of the Beatitudes. It is right and good to pray so that the coming of the kingdom of justice and peace may influence the march of history, but it is just as important to bring the help of prayer into humble, everyday situations; all forms of prayer can be the leaven to which the Lord compares the kingdom."48
 

The Christian tradition comprises three major expressions of the life of prayer:

"Vocal prayer, founded on the union of body and soul in human nature, associates the body with the interior prayer of the heart, following Christ's example of praying to his Father and teaching the Our Father to his disciples.


"Meditation is a prayerful quest engaging thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. Its goal is to make our own, in faith, the subject considered, by confronting it with the reality of our own life.


"Contemplative prayer is the simple expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus, an attentiveness to the Word of God, a silent love. It achieves real union with the prayer of Christ to the extent that it makes us share in his mystery."49

 

48. CCC, 2660.

49. Cf. CCC, 2721-2724.

From the Handbook of Prayers, edited by Fr. Jim Socias.

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