卷四基督徒的祈禱 - 生活中的祈禱/PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

天主教教理
卷四
基督徒的祈禱

第一部分

基督徒生活中的祈禱

 

2558. 「大哉信德的奧跡!」在宗徒信經中,教會宣認這奧跡 (卷一); 在聖事禮儀中,教會慶祝這奧跡 (卷二),為使信友生活這奧跡,在聖神內師法基督,以光榮天主聖父 (卷三)。所以這奧跡要求信友在與生活而真實的天主之活生生而親密的關係中,相信、慶祝、活出這奧跡。這關係就是祈禱。

祈禱是甚麼?

聖女小德蘭,《自傳手稿》:對我來說,祈禱是內心的奮發之情,向蒼天的淳樸凝視;是困苦中或歡樂中感恩報愛的頌謝聲。
祈禱是天主的恩賜

2559. 「祈禱是舉心嚮往天主,或者向天主求適合的恩惠」。祈禱時,我們從何處說起呢?是從我們的高傲和我們自己的願望嗎?抑或是從謙虛和懺悔的心的「深處」呢(詠 130:14)?「誰若謙抑自下,將被高舉」。 謙虛是祈禱的基礎。「我們不知道該怎樣祈禱才好」(羅 8:26)。祈禱是我們無功而得的恩惠。謙虛才是接受此恩惠的最佳心態。人在天主面前是個乞丐。

2560. 「你若認識天主的恩惠!」(若 4:10)。祈禱的妙義就妙在這裡:我們來到井邊汲水,就在那裡,基督來與每個人相遇。祂先來尋找我們,開口向我們要水喝。耶穌口渴;祂的要求來自天主的內心深處:天主渴望我們。不管我們知道或不知道,事實上,祈禱就是天主的渴望與我們的渴望相遇。天主渴望我們渴望祂。

2561. 「你要向祂求水喝,祂就會給你活水」(若 4:10)。我們的祈求原是一個去掘漏水的水池!」(耶 2:13),以信德回應天主無條件給予的恩許,以愛回應天主獨生子的口渴。

祈禱是盟約

2562. 人從哪裡發出祈禱?無論用甚麼語言(姿勢或言語),總是整個人在祈禱。但為了指出祈禱從那裡湧現出來,聖經有時說是靈魂或心神,而提及心的次數最多(超過千次)。的確,是人的心在祈禱。如果心遠離天主,外表的祈禱就虛而不實。

2563. ( 按照閃族和聖經的說法:我投宿心中)心是居所,我在此,我居此。心是理性抓不到,別人也摸不著的隱密中樞,只有天主的神才能洞察和認識它。 心是作決定的地方, 在我們心靈欲望的最深處。心是真理所在,是我們選擇生或死的地方。心亦是相遇之處,因為按天主的肖象,我們活於關係中:心是結盟之所在。

2564. 基督徒的祈禱是天主與人在基督內結盟的關係。它是天主的行動,也是人的行動;它發自聖神,也出自我們,並與降生成人的天主子的人性意願相結合,而完全指向天主聖父。

祈禱是共融

2565. 在新約時代,祈禱是天主子女,跟無限美善的天父,偕同祂的聖子耶穌基督及聖神活生生的關係。天國的恩寵是「整個天主聖三與人整個的心神的結合」。因此,祈禱生活就是經常活在天主聖三的親臨及與祂的共融中。這一生命的相通隨時可得,因為透過洗禮,我們已經與基督結成一體。基督徒祈禱的特色正是與基督的共融,並且這共融擴展到祂的身體、教會內。祈禱的幅度就是基督之愛的幅度。


PART FOUR:

CHRISTIAN PRAYER

SECTION ONE

PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

2558 "Great is the mystery of the faith!"

The Church professes this mystery in the Apostles' Creed (Part One) and celebrates it in the sacramental liturgy (Part Two), so that the life of the faithful may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Part Three).

This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer.

WHAT IS PRAYER?

For me, prayer is a surge of the heart;
it is a simple look turned toward heaven, 
it is a cry of recognition and of love, 
embracing both trial and joy.1

Prayer as God's gift

2559 "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God."2 
But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or "out of the depths" of a humble and contrite heart?3 
He who humbles himself will be exalted;4 humility is the foundation of prayer,
Only when we humbly acknowledge that "we do not know how to pray as we ought,"5 are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. 
"Man is a beggar before God."6

2560 "If you knew the gift of God!"7 
The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. 
It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God's desire for us.
Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.8

2561 "You would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."9 
Paradoxically our prayer of petition is a response to the plea of the living God: 
"They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water!"10 
Prayer is the response of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response of love to the thirst of the only Son of God.11

Prayer as covenant

2562 Where does prayer come from? 
Whether prayer is expressed in words or gestures, it is the whole man who prays. 
But in naming the source of prayer, Scripture speaks sometimes of the soul or the spirit, but most often of the heart (more than a thousand times). 
According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays. 
If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain.

2563 The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place "to which I withdraw." 
The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; 
only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. 
The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. 
It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. 
It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: 
it is the place of covenant.

2564 Christian prayer is a covenant relationship between God and man in Christ. 
It is the action of God and of man, springing forth from both the Holy Spirit and ourselves, wholly directed to the Father, in union with the human will of the Son of God made man.

Prayer as communion

2565 In the New Covenant, prayer is 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. 
The grace of the Kingdom is "the union of the entire holy and royal Trinity . . . with the whole human spirit."12 
Thus, the life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him. 
This communion of life is always possible because, through Baptism, we have already been united with Christ.13 
Prayer is Christian insofar as it is communion with Christ and extends throughout the Church, which is his Body. 

Its dimensions are those of Christ's love.14 

第一章

祈禱的啟示眾人奉召作祈禱

 

2566. 人一直在尋求天主。天主透過造化妙工使一切存有從虛無中走向存在。稍遜於天使「以光榮和榮耀作冠冕的人」(詠 8:6),有能力確認「上主的名號何其偉大,遍及大地」(詠 8:2)。雖然人犯了罪,反映不出天主的模樣,但人仍保存造物主的肖象,心中仍嚮往那使人存在的造物主。所有宗教都為此作証:尋求天主是人天性的需求。

2567. 天主先召喚人。人可能遺忘他的造物主,或者逃避天主的聖容而遠離常首先在祈禱中採取這種愛的行動,而人的行動常是一種回應。當天主逐漸顯示自己,並把人啟示給人時,祈禱就好似天主與人的彼此呼喚,互結盟約的劇情。透過言語與舉動,這戲劇席捲人心而在整個救恩史中展現出來。

 

CHAPTER ONE

THE REVELATION OF PRAYER - THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO PRAYER

2566 Man is in search of God. In the act of creation, God calls every being from nothingness into existence. "Crowned with glory and honor," man is, after the angels, capable of acknowledging "how majestic is the name of the Lord in all the earth."1 Even after losing through his sin his likeness to God, man remains an image of his Creator, and retains the desire for the one who calls him into existence. All religions bear witness to men's essential search for God.2

2567 God calls man first. Man may forget his Creator or hide far from his face; he may run after idols or accuse the deity of having abandoned him; yet the living and true God tirelessly calls each person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer. In prayer, the faithful God's initiative of love always comes first; our own first step is always a response. As God gradually reveals himself and reveals man to himself, prayer appears as a reciprocal call, a covenant drama. Through words and actions, this drama engages the heart. It unfolds throughout the whole history of salvation.

第一條

舊約時代

 

2568. 舊約中祈禱的啟示,發生在人的墮落與人的得救之間,即在天主對其第一對子女痛苦的召呼:「你在那裡?……你為甚麼做了這事?」(創 3:9,13)及其獨生子進入世界時的答覆之間,祂答道:「天主,看!我已來到,為承行祢的旨意」(希 10:5-7)。這樣看來,祈禱與人類歷史是分不開的;祈禱是在各歷史事件中,人同天主的關係。

創造────祈禱的泉源

2569. 祈禱生活首先以創造的眾多事跡開始。創世紀前九章把人類與天主的關係描述為亞伯爾向天主祭獻首胎羊隻,厄諾士出生後,呼求天主的名,「與天主同行」(創 5:24)。諾厄的奉獻悅樂天主,並得到天主的降福。通過諾厄,天主也降福了整個的受造界,因為諾厄為人正義,天性正直,也「與天主同行」(創 6:9)。祈禱的這種素質在所有宗教中,由眾多的正直人士生活出來。

天主與芸芸眾生訂立永恆不渝的盟約時,常請人們向祂祈禱。然而,特別由我們的祖先亞巴郎起,祈禱才在舊約中啟示出來。
應許和信德的祈禱

2570. 亞巴郎一聽到天主的召喚,便「遵照天主的吩咐」(創 12:4),立刻動身。他的心完全降服於「天主的聖言」,聽從祂的命令。由內心聆聽而作出服從天主的決定是祈禱的本質,語言在其次。但亞巴郎的祈禱先表達在行動中:他緘默寡言,他在旅途中的每一階段,都給上主建造一座祭壇。稍後,才出現他第一次用言語的祈禱:隱約的抱怨聲,提醒天主,許諾之言似乎未見實現。如此,由一開始就出現了祈禱的戲劇性的一面:面對天主的信實,信仰受到考驗。

2571.亞巴郎信仰天主,在祂面前行走,與祂結盟,而準備妥當在他的帳棚裡款待神秘的客人,這就是令人驚歎的瑪默勒橡樹下的好客表現,是地,大膽為罪人代禱。

2572. 亞巴郎的信德受到了最後的淨化,就是天主要求這位「許諾的保管人」(希 11:17),祭獻天主賜給他的獨生子。他的信德堅定不移:「天主自會照料,提供作全燔祭的羔羊」(創 22:8),因他「相信天主具有使死者復活的能力」(希 11:19)。這樣,信德之父竟肖似天父;天父不吝惜自己的獨生子,反而為了我們眾人的得救,把祂交出。祈禱使人肖似天主,並分享天主那拯救眾人之愛的德能。

2573. 由於雅各伯是以色列十二支派的祖先,天主向他重申自己的許諾。他對抗大哥厄撒烏之前,與一位神秘人物整夜搏鬥,那人不願透露自己的姓名,但離開前在黎明時分祝福了他。教會靈修傳統視此一敘述為祈禱的象徵;祈禱是信德的戰鬥和堅持到底的勝利。

梅瑟和中保的祈禱

2574. 當天主的恩許開始實現時 (逾越, 出谷,法律的頒賜以及盟約的締結),梅瑟的祈禱就成為代禱的顯著預象。此預象在「天人之間唯一中保──基督耶穌」身上圓滿地實現 (弟前2:5)。

2575. 在此再度顯示出天主先行第一步來接觸人。祂從焚而不毀的荊棘叢中召叫梅瑟。這事件在猶太和基督徒的靈修傳統中,將成為祈禱的最原始的預象之一。事實上,如果亞巴郎、依撒格和雅各伯的天主召叫自己的忠僕──梅瑟,這正因為天主是生活的天主,祂願意人生活。祂自我啟示,目的在於救人,但不是單獨的去作,也不會違反他們的意願:天主召叫梅瑟,旨在派遣他,要他也懷有祂憐憫之心,參與祂救世的工程。天主派遣梅瑟時,似乎在懇求他。經過冗長的爭辯,梅瑟終於將自己的意願翕合於救主天主的旨意。但是在此對話中,天主信任梅瑟,梅瑟也學會祈禱:他迴避、反對,但他主要還是詢問。在答覆詢問時,天主終於向他說出自己不可言喻的名字,這名字將透過天主的奇妙化工,逐漸啟工,逐漸啟示出來。

2576. 「天主與梅瑟面對面的談話,就如人同朋友交談」(出 33:11)。梅瑟的祈禱是默觀祈禱的典型,藉此默觀,天主的僕人才能忠於他的使命。梅瑟經常和長久地與上主「談心」。他上山,聆聽上主之言並向祂懇求;他下山,給子民傳達天主之言並領導他們。天主說:「他在我全家中是最忠信可靠的,我面對面與他明明說話」(戶 12:7-8);事實上,「梅瑟為人十分謙和,世界上無人可以與之相比」(戶 12:3)。

2577. 在與這位緩於發怒、富於慈愛和信實的天主親密的交往中,梅瑟汲取了力量和堅韌不拔的毅力,來為子民代禱。他不為自己祈禱,而為天主所掙得的子民祈禱;在同阿瑪肋克人作戰中,或者為米黎盎求病癒時,梅瑟為他們代禱。特別當子民背叛天主,「反抗」天主之後,梅瑟為了拯救他們,「站在裂口的地方」,在天主面前 (詠 106:23),為民榮,祂不能放棄這擁有祂名字的子民。

達味與君王的祈禱

2578. 天主子民的祈禱,是在天主的居所,即結約之櫃以及稍後的聖殿的蔭庇之下發展。教導民眾祈禱的,首推民眾的領導者──牧者和先知。撒慕爾從他母親亞納那裡學到如何「站立在天主面前」;從司祭厄里處學會如何聆聽天主的話:「上主,求祢發言,祢的僕人在此聆聽」 (撒上 3:9-10)。稍後,撒慕爾自己也認識到代禱的重要和價值:「至於我,我決不願得罪上主,停止為你們祈禱或停止教導你們行善,走正路」(撒上 12:23)。

2579. 達味是「合乎天主心意」的傑出君王,是為人民並以人民之名作祈禱的牧者。他服從天主的旨意,歌頌上主並懺悔認罪,都是人民祈禱的典範。他受天主的傅油,他的祈禱在於忠實依恃天主的恩許,滿懷愛慕和愉快之情而信賴天主、唯一的君王和上主。在聖詠中,達味受聖神默感,是猶太人和基督徒祈禱的第一位先知。基督──真正的默西亞及達味之子──的祈禱,將啟示並完成這種祈禱的意義。

2580. 達味本擬建築耶路撒冷大殿作為祈禱之所,此計劃日後由他的兒子撒落滿予以實現。聖殿的奉獻禱詞,是根據天主的恩許和祂的盟約、祂在自己子民中顯威能的聖名,以及對出埃及之種種奇妙作為的回憶而編寫的。君王舉手向天,為他自己,為全體人民,為後代子孫的罪赦,和每日所需向上主祈求,好使天下萬國知道上主是唯一的真天主,也使人民全心全意臣服於上主。

厄里亞、、先知與心靈的皈依

2581. 聖殿應是天主子民祈禱的教育場所:朝聖、慶節、祭祀、晚祭、香、「供」餅,這一切是至高和近在咫尺的天主神聖和光榮的標記,曾是召喚子民祈禱和學習祈禱的途徑。然而,拘泥於儀式的形式主義往往使人過分著重外在的敬禮。當時天主子民所需要的是信德的培育和內心的皈依,這是流徙前後先知們的使命。

2582. 厄里亞是眾先知之父,是「追尋上主,和追求天主儀容之子息」的父親(詠 24:6)。他的名字「厄里亞」意謂「上主是我的天主」,預告人們為回應他在加爾默羅山上的祈禱所發出的呼聲雅各伯為了激勵我們祈禱,提到厄里亞先知說:「義人懇切的祈求大有功效」(雅 5:16b-18)。

2583.隱居在革黎特溪畔的厄里亞,學會了慈悲之後,就教導匝爾法特寡婦

復活。驗的時刻。藉著厄里亞懇切的祈求,上主之火燒毀了全燔祭品,那時,「正是奉獻晚祭的時分」,「上主,應允我,應允我!」東方禮儀在感恩祭呼求聖神禱詞中,採用了厄里亞的這些話。

最後,當厄里亞在曠野中,再次踏上旅途,前往那真實而生活的天主顯現於自己子民的地方時,他好像梅瑟一樣,「躲在山洞裡」,直至天主奇妙的臨在「經過」時為止。他們二人所尋求的天主聖容�,曾是召喚子民祈禱和學習祈禱的途徑。然而,拘泥於儀式的形式主義往往使人過分著重外在的敬禮。當時天主子民所需要的是信德的培育和內心的皈依,這是流徙前後先知們的使命。

2582. 厄里亞是眾先知之父,是「追尋上主,和追求天主儀容之子息」的父親(詠 24:6)。他的名字「厄里亞」意謂「上主是我的天主」,預告人們為回應他在加爾默羅山上的祈禱所發出的呼聲雅各伯為了激勵我們祈禱,提到厄里亞先知說:「義人懇切的祈求大有功效」(雅 5:16b-18)。

2583.隱居在革黎特溪畔的厄里亞,學會了慈悲之後,就教導匝爾法特寡婦

復活。驗的時刻。藉著厄里亞懇切的祈求,上主之火燒毀了全燔祭品,那時,「正是奉獻晚祭的時分」,「上主,應允我,應允我!」東方禮儀在感恩祭呼求聖神禱詞中,採用了厄里亞的這些話。

最後,當厄里亞在曠野中,再次踏上旅途,前往那真實而生活的天主顯現於自己子民的地方時,他好像梅瑟一樣,「躲在山洞裡」,直至天主奇妙的臨在「經過」時為止。他們二人所尋求的天主聖容,日後僅在顯聖容的山上,才顯露出來。天主的光榮是在被釘死而又復活的基督的面貌上認出。

2584. 在同天主「單獨面對面」的會晤中,先知們汲取了執行他們使命所需要的光和力。他們的祈禱並不是逃避無信仰的世界,而是聆聽天主的聖言,有時是同天主的爭執,或對天主的抱怨,但始終是一種代禱,此代禱是為等待和準備天主、救世主、歷史的主宰的干預。

聖詠────聚會的祈禱

2585. 從達味直到默西亞的來臨,聖經上保存了不少的祈禱經文,這些經文顯示祈禱者為己為人的祈禱一直在深化。這些聖詠逐漸蒐集成書,共有五集。聖詠集又稱「讚歌」,是舊約祈禱的傑作。

2586. 在耶路撒冷的大慶節及各地會堂的每個安息日中,聖詠就滋潤和表達天主子民聚會的祈禱。這樣的祈禱既是個人的,又是團體的,二者不可分割,它涉及祈禱者本身和眾人。它發自聖地以及散居的子民團體,也包括整個受造界;它回憶過去的救恩性事件,同時延伸到歷史的終結;它紀念已經實現的天主恩許,它又等待那決定性地圓滿實現恩許的默西亞。用以在基督內祈禱,並在基督內實現的聖詠,至今仍是基督教會祈禱必要的成分。

2587. 在聖詠集一書中,天主的聖言成為人的祈禱。在舊約的其他書中,「言語宣布(天主為人所完成的)工程,並闡明其中含有的奧跡」。在聖詠集中,聖詠作者則以自己的言語歌頌天主的救世工程。同一聖神啟發天主的作為和人的回應。工程與回應,基督統之於己身。在基督內,聖詠不斷教導我們祈禱。

2588. 聖詠祈禱多采多姿的表達方式經常在聖殿內的禮儀中,和在人心裡形成。無論是讚美詩或哀怨禱詞、感恩頌、個人或團體禱告、王室頌歌或朝聖歌(仰慕聖殿)、智者的默想,聖詠總是一面鏡子,反映著天主在人類歷史中的奇妙化工,以及作者生活的實在處境。某篇聖詠可能反映出某一過去的事件,但它是如此樸實,致使任何處境和時代中的人,都可以真誠地用來祈禱。

2589.有幾個不變的特點貫徹所有聖詠:禱文的純樸、自然;透過並偕同受困境,成為眾多仇敵與誘惑的目標;在等待著信實的天主有所行動

因此將舊約傳給我們的聖詠集稱為「讚歌」是非常合適的。聖詠成集是為聚會崇拜之用,它使人聽到請人祈禱的召喚,並對之唱出回應:Hallelou-Ya (阿肋路亞),「讚美上主!」。

聖安博,《聖詠漫談》:有甚麼比一首聖詠更美的呢?達味說得好:「請讚美上主,因為聖詠美好:讓我們以柔和優美的歌聲讚美上主!」說得對,因為聖詠是子民唱出的祝頌,是會眾一起讚美天主的歌聲,眾人的鼓掌聲,宇宙之言,教會之聲,悅耳的信德宣誓。

 

 Article 1

IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

2568 In the Old Testament, the revelation of prayer comes between the fall and the restoration of man, that is, between God's sorrowful call to his first children: "Where are you? . . . What is this that you have done?"3 and the response of God's only Son on coming into the world: "Lo, I have come to do your will, O God."4 Prayer is bound up with human history, for it is the relationship with God in historical events.

Creation - source of prayer

2569 Prayer is lived in the first place beginning with the realities of creation. the first nine chapters of Genesis describe this relationship with God as an offering of the first-born of Abel's flock, as the invocation of the divine name at the time of Enosh, and as "walking with God.5 Noah's offering is pleasing to God, who blesses him and through him all creation, because his heart was upright and undivided; Noah, like Enoch before him, "walks with God."6 This kind of prayer is lived by many righteous people in all religions. 
In his indefectible covenant with every living creature,7 God has always called people to prayer. But it is above all beginning with our father Abraham that prayer is revealed in the Old Testament.

God's promise and the prayer of Faith

2570 When God calls him, Abraham goes forth "as the Lord had told him";8 Abraham's heart is entirely submissive to the Word and so he obeys. Such attentiveness of the heart, whose decisions are made according to God's will, is essential to prayer, while the words used count only in relation to it. Abraham's prayer is expressed first by deeds: a man of silence, he constructs an altar to the Lord at each stage of his journey. Only later does Abraham's first prayer in words appear: a veiled complaint reminding God of his promises which seem unfulfilled.9 Thus one aspect of the drama of prayer appears from the beginning: the test of faith in the fidelity of God.

2571 Because Abraham believed in God and walked in his presence and in covenant with him,10 The patriarch is ready to welcome a mysterious Guest into his tent. Abraham's remarkable hospitality at Mamre foreshadows the annunciation of the true Son of the promise.11 After that, once God had confided his plan, Abraham's heart is attuned to his Lord's compassion for men and he dares to intercede for them with bold confidence.12

2572 As a final stage in the purification of his faith, Abraham, "who had received the promises,"13 is asked to sacrifice the son God had given him. Abraham's faith does not weaken (“God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering."), for he "considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead."14 and so the father of believers is conformed to the likeness of the Father who will not spare his own Son but wiLl deliver him up for us all.15 Prayer restores man to God's likeness and enables him to share in the power of God's love that saves the multitude.16

2573 God renews his promise to Jacob, the ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel.17 Before confronting his elder brother Esau, Jacob wrestles all night with a mysterious figure who refuses to reveal his name, but he blesses him before leaving him at dawn. From this account, the spiritual tradition of the Church has retained the symbol of prayer as a battle of faith and as the triumph of perseverance.18

Moses and the prayer of the mediator

2574 Once the promise begins to be fulfilled (Passover, the Exodus, the gift of the Law, and the ratification of the covenant), the prayer of Moses becomes the most striking example of intercessory prayer, which will be fulfilled in "the one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."19

2575 Here again the initiative is God's. From the midst of the burning bush he calls Moses.20 This event will remain one of the primordial images of prayer in the spiritual tradition of Jews and Christians alike. When "the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob" calls Moses to be his servant, it is because he is the living God who wants men to live. God reveals himself in order to save them, though he does not do this alone or despite them: he caLls Moses to be his messenger, an associate in his compassion, his work of salvation. There is something of a divine plea in this mission, and only after long debate does Moses attune his own will to that of the Savior God. But in the dialogue in which God confides in him, Moses also learns how to pray: he balks, makes excuses, above all questions: and it is in response to his question that the Lord confides his ineffable name, which will be revealed through his mighty deeds.

2576 "Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend."21 Moses' prayer is characteristic of contemplative prayer by which God's servant remains faithful to his mission. Moses converses with God often and at length, climbing the mountain to hear and entreat him and coming down to the people to repeat the words of his God for their guidance. Moses "is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly, not in riddles," for "Moses was very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth."22

2577 From this intimacy with the faithful God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,23 Moses drew strength and determination for his intercession. He does not pray for himself but for the people whom God made his own. Moses already intercedes for them during the battle with the Amalekites and prays to obtain healing for Miriam.24 But it is chiefly after their apostasy that Moses "stands in the breach" before God in order to save the people.25 The arguments of his prayer - for intercession is also a mysterious battle - will inspire the boldness of the great intercessors among the Jewish people and in the Church: God is love; he is therefore righteous and faithful; he cannot contradict himself; he must remember his marvellous deeds, since his glory is at stake, and he cannot forsake this people that bears his name.

David and the prayer of the king

2578 The prayer of the People of God flourishes in the shadow of God's dwelling place, first the ark of the covenant and later the Temple. At first the leaders of the people - the shepherds and the prophets - teach them to pray. the infant Samuel must have learned from his mother Hannah how "to stand before the LORD" and from the priest Eli how to listen to his word: "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening."26 Later, he will also know the cost and consequence of intercession: "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way."27

2579 David is par excellence the king "after God's own heart," the shepherd who prays for his people and prays in their name. His submission to the will of God, his praise, and his repentance, will be a model for the prayer of the people. His prayer, the prayer of God's Anointed, is a faithful adherence to the divine promise and expresses a loving and joyful trust in God, the only King and Lord.28 In the Psalms David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the first prophet of Jewish and Christian prayer. the prayer of Christ, the true Messiah and Son of David, will reveal and fulfill the meaning of this prayer.

2580 The Temple of Jerusalem, the house of prayer that David wanted to build, will be the work of his son, Solomon. the prayer at the dedication of the Temple relies on God's promise and covenant, on the active presence of his name among his People, recalling his mighty deeds at the Exodus.29 The king lifts his hands toward heaven and begs the Lord, on his own behalf, on behalf of the entire people, and of the generations yet to come, for the forgiveness of their sins and for their daily needs, so that the nations may know that He is the only God and that the heart of his people may belong wholly and entirely to him.

Elijah, the prophets and conversion of heart

2581 For the People of God, the Temple was to be the place of their education in prayer: pilgrimages, feasts and sacrifices, the evening offering, the incense, and the bread of the Presence (“shewbread") - all these signs of the holiness and glory of God Most High and Most Near were appeals to and ways of prayer. But ritualism often encouraged an excessively external worship. the people needed education in faith and conversion of heart; this was the mission of the prophets, both before and after the Exile.

2582 Elijah is the "father" of the prophets, "the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob."30 Elijah's name, "The Lord is my God," foretells the people's cry in response to his prayer on Mount Carmel.31 St. James refers to Elijah in order to encourage us to pray: "The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective."32

2583 After Elijah had learned mercy during his retreat at the Wadi Cherith, he teaches the widow of Zarephath to believe in the Word of God and confirms her faith by his urgent prayer: God brings the widow's child back to life.33 The sacrifice on Mount Carmel is a decisive test for the faith of the People of God. In response to Elijah's plea, "Answer me, O LORD, answer me," the Lord's fire consumes the holocaust, at the time of the evening oblation. the Eastern liturgies repeat Elijah's plea in the Eucharistic epiclesis. 
Finally, taking the desert road that leads to the place where the living and true God reveals himself to his people, Elijah, like Moses before him, hides "in a cleft of he rock" until the mysterious presence of God has passed by.34 But only on the mountain of the Transfiguration will Moses and Elijah behold the unveiled face of him whom they sought; "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God [shines] in the face of Christ," crucified and risen.35

2584 In their "one to one" encounters with God, the prophets draw light and strength for their mission. Their prayer is not flight from this unfaithful world, but rather attentiveness to the Word of God. At times their prayer is an argument or a complaint, but it is always an intercession that awaits and prepares for the intervention of the Savior God, the Lord of history.36

The Psalms, the prayer of the assembly

2585 From the time of David to the coming of the Messiah texts appearing in these sacred books show a deepening in prayer for oneself and in prayer for others.37 Thus the psalms were gradually collected into the five books of the Psalter (or "Praises"), the masterwork of prayer in the Old Testament.

2586 The Psalms both nourished and expressed the prayer of the People of God gathered during the great feasts at Jerusalem and each Sabbath in the synagogues. Their prayer is inseparably personal and communal; it concerns both those who are praying and all men. the Psalms arose from the communities of the Holy Land and the Diaspora, but embrace all creation. Their prayer recalls the saving events of the past, yet extends into the future, even to the end of history; it commemorates the promises God has already kept, and awaits the Messiah who will fulfill them definitively. Prayed by Christ and fulfilled in him, the Psalms remain essential to the prayer of the Church.38

2587 The Psalter is the book in which the Word of God becomes man's prayer. In other books of the Old Testament, "the words proclaim [God's] works and bring to light the mystery they contain."39 The words of the Psalmist, sung for God, both express and acclaim the Lord's saving works; the same Spirit inspires both God's work and man's response. Christ will unite the two. In him, the psalms continue to teach us how to pray.

2588 The Psalter's many forms of prayer take shape both in the liturgy of the Temple and in the human heart. Whether hymns or prayers of lamentation or thanksgiving, whether individual or communal, whether royal chants, songs of pilgrimage or wisdom meditations, the Psalms are a mirror of God's marvelous deeds in the history of his people, as well as reflections of the human experiences of the Psalmist. Though a given psalm may reflect an event of the past, it still possesses such direct simplicity that it can be prayed in truth by men of all times and conditions.

2589 Certain constant characteristics appear throughout the Psalms: simplicity and spontaneity of prayer; the desire for God himself through and with all that is good in his creation; the distraught situation of the believer who, in his preferential love for the Lord, is exposed to a host of enemies and temptations, but who waits upon what the faithful God will do, in the certitude of his love and in submission to his will. the prayer of the psalms is always sustained by praise; that is why the title of this collection as handed down to us is so fitting: "The Praises." Collected for the assembly's worship, the Psalter both sounds the call to prayer and sings the response to that call: Hallelu-Yah! (“Alleluia"), "Praise the Lord!"

What is more pleasing than a psalm? David expresses it well: "Praise the Lord, for a psalm is good: let there be praise of our God with gladness and grace!" Yes, a psalm is a blessing on the lips of the people, praise of God, the assembly's homage, a general acclamation, a word that speaks for all, the voice of the Church, a confession of faith in song.40

撮要
2590.「祈禱是提昇自己的靈魂到天主台前,或是向天主懇求一些合宜的恩惠」。
2591.天主不倦地召叫每一個人與祂奧妙地相遇。祈禱伴隨著整個救恩史,猶如天人之間彼此的呼喚。
2592.亞巴郎和雅各伯的祈禱看來是一個信德的戰鬥,這信仰表現在對天主忠誠的信賴上,和對天主的恩許終必獲勝的信念上。
2593.梅瑟的祈禱是對主動拯救其子民的生活的天主作回應。他的祈禱預示了唯一的中保、基督耶穌的轉禱。
2594.天主子民的祈禱在天主居所──約櫃及聖殿──的蔭庇下逐漸發展。此發展由牧者們,尤其由達味王和先知們所領導。
2595.先知們呼喚人心皈依,在像厄里亞那樣熱切地尋求天主聖容時,他們也為人民代禱。

2596. 聖詠是舊約中祈禱的傑作,其中包括兩個分不開的因素:個人的和團體的。聖詠伸展到歷史的所有幅度,紀念天主已實現的恩許,並期盼著默西亞的來臨。

2597.用以在基督內祈禱,並在祂內實現的聖詠,是基督教會祈禱的一個歷久不變的必要成分。適於任何處境和時代之人的祈禱。

 
 IN BRIEF

2590 "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God" (St. John Damascene, Defide orth. 3, 24: PG 94, 1089C).

2591 God tirelessly calls each person to this mysterious encounter with Himself. Prayer unfolds throughout the whole history of salvation as a reciprocal call between God and man.

2592 The prayer of Abraham and Jacob is presented as a battle of faith marked by trust in God's faithfulness and by certitude in the victory promised to perseverance.

2593 The prayer of Moses responds to the living God's initiative for the salvation of his people. It foreshadows the prayer of intercession of the unique mediator, Christ Jesus.

2594 The prayer of the People of God flourished in the shadow of the dwelling place of God's presence on earth, the ark of the covenant and the Temple, under the guidance of their shepherds, especially King David, and of the prophets.

2595 The prophets summoned the people to conversion of heart and, while zealously seeking the face of God, like Elijah, they interceded for the people.

2596 The Psalms constitute the masterwork of prayer in the Old Testament. They present two inseparable qualities: the personal, and the communal. They extend to all dimensions of history, recalling God's promises already fulfilled and looking for the coming of the Messiah.

2597 Prayed and fulfilled in Christ, the Psalms are an essential and permanent element of the prayer of the Church. They are suitable for men of every condition and time.


   
   
   
   
   
   
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