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4 Wellsprings of prayer that we can freely drink from

HAND, WATER, SPRING

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Philip Kosloski - published on 02/16/24

The Church identifies four wellsprings of prayer where we can drink freely and from which we can learn how to pray.

If we want to deepen our prayer lives, its important to go to the sources of prayer and drink from the wellsprings that God provides for us.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “The Holy Spirit is the living water ‘welling up to eternal life’ in the heart that prays. It is he who teaches us to accept it at its source: Christ. Indeed in the Christian life there are several wellsprings where Christ awaits us to enable us to drink of the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2652).

1
Word of God

The Church “forcefully and specially exhorts all the Christian faithful . . . to learn ‘the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ’ (Phil 3:8) by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. . . . Let them remember, however, that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that a dialogue takes place between God and man. For ‘we speak to him when we pray; we listen to him when we read the divine oracles.”‘

CCC 2653

2
The Liturgy of the Church

In the sacramental liturgy of the Church, the mission of Christ and of the Holy Spirit proclaims, makes present, and communicates the mystery of salvation, which is continued in the heart that prays. The spiritual writers sometimes compare the heart to an altar. Prayer internalizes and assimilates the liturgy during and after its celebration. Even when it is lived out “in secret,” prayer is always prayer of the Church; it is a communion with the Holy Trinity.

CCC 2655

3
The theological virtues

One enters into prayer as one enters into liturgy: by the narrow gate of faith…The Holy Spirit, who instructs us to celebrate the liturgy in expectation of Christ’s return, teaches us-to pray in hopeLove is the source of prayer; whoever draws from it reaches the summit of prayer.

CCC 2656-8

4
“Today”

We learn to pray at certain moments by hearing the Word of the Lord and sharing in his Paschal mystery, but his Spirit is offered us at all times, in the events of each day, to make prayer spring up from us. Jesus’ teaching about praying to our Father is in the same vein as his teaching about providence: time is in the Father’s hands; it is in the present that we encounter him, not yesterday nor tomorrow, but today: “O that today you would hearken to his voice! Harden not your hearts.”

CCC 2659

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CCC PrayerHoly SpiritPrayer
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