January 10 Class
From the Baltimore Catechism
Q. What is prayer?
A. Prayer is the lifting up of our minds and hearts to God, to adore Him, to thank Him for His benefits, to ask His forgiveness, and to beg of Him all the graces we need whether for soul or body.
Q. How many kinds of prayer are there?
A. There are two kinds of prayer:
1. Mental prayer, called meditation, in which we spend the time thinking of God or of one or more of the truths He has revealed, that by these thoughts we may be persuaded to lead holier lives;
2. Vocal prayer, in which we express these pious thoughts in words.
Q. How should we pray?
A. We should pray:
1. With attention;
2. With a sense of our own helplessness and dependence upon God;
3. With a great desire for the graces we beg of God;
4. With trust in God's goodness;
5. With perseverance.
Q. What should we do that we may pray well?
A. That we may pray well we should make a preparation before prayer:
1. By calling to mind the dignity of God, to whom we are about to speak, and our own unworthiness to appear in His presence;
2. By fixing upon the precise grace or blessing for which we intend to ask;
3. By remembering God's power and willingness to give if we truly need and earnestly, humbly and confidently ask.
Q. What assurance have we that God always hears and rewards our prayers, though He may not grant what we ask?
A. We have the assurance of Our Lord Himself that God always hears and rewards our prayers, though He may not grant what we ask; for Christ said: "Ask and it shall be given you," and "if you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you."
Q. What are the fruits of prayer?
A. The fruits of prayer are:
1. It strengthens our faith,
2. nourishes our hope,
3. increases our love for God,
4. keeps us humble,
5. merits grace and atones for sin.
Q. Why should we pray when God knows our needs?
A. We pray not to remind God or tell Him of what we need, but to acknowledge that He is the Supreme Giver, to adore and worship Him by showing our entire dependence upon Him for every gift to soul or body.