How to Pray

Since the time of early Christianity, there have been forms

of prayer that use breathing as a cadence for prayer. The Jesus

Prayer and the Rosary, along with various forms of contemplative

prayer, are all variations of this type of prayer. The real prayer

behind all of these methods is the prayer of surrender: “Into

your hands I commend my spirit.” This was the prayer that Jesus

prayed to the Father from the cross.

Though confession alone does not remove the temporal penalty

of sin, healing still is possible by God’s grace. Prayer, reading the

Scripture, giving alms, doing good works all are acts that have

had indulgences attached to them by the Church. By obtaining

an indulgence, the Christian receives healing from the temporal

penalty of even the gravest sins, reducing or eliminating altogether

the time of purification needed in purgatory (CCC 1471).

Ideally, the Christian is motivated to perform these spiritual

exercises not from fear of punishment but out of love for God.

As we read in the preceding passage, St. Paul tells the Ephesians

to offer themselves as a spiritual sacrifice with Christ, who has

paid the debt of our sins. Seeing Christ on the cross and meditating

on his love for us should help us to understand how much

God loves

"michael dubruiel"

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