Page 4, 23rd August 1946

23rd August 1946
Page 4
Page 4, 23rd August 1946 — A LAYMAN'S PULPIT

Report an error

Noticed an error on this page?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it.


Organisations: His Church
People: Jesus Christ


Related articles

Priesthood Of The Laity

Page 4 from 8th November 1963

The "divine Layman"

Page 2 from 20th March 1942

The Liturgy — Our Life By Edward Bourne W E Are

Page 4 from 19th June 1964

Everybody Has A Vocation

Page 1 from 2nd August 1957

Facing East

Page 9 from 26th September 2003


Prayer—Public and Private

IT was to believers as a whole that St. Peter referred when he spoke of " a holy priesthood." As members of Christ's Mystical Body, we share in His priesthood. And this means that, in the Mass, we offer ourselves, soul and body, a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God." We do this in the

fellowship of His Church, a fellowship which is visible and tangible.

But this does not exclude private prayer or make such individual devotions of negligible value. In his recent encyclical, Mystici Corporls Christi, His Holiness explicitly condemns this view. There are those, he says, " who suggest that private prayers to God are to be accounted of little value, inasmuch as it it rather the public prayers offered in the name of the Church which have real worth. since they proceed from the mystical Body of Jesus Christ. This suggestion is quite untrue."

The very term " mystical" should be sufficient to refute the idea which the Pope condemns. Membership of this Body, unlike membership of a particular congregation at a particular time, is a permanent relationship. The holy priesthood which is ours cannot be put on for special occasions, nor can it be discarded when its obligations are in

convenient. When Pius XII referred to private devotions, he was not suggesting that we can, in our devotions, isolate ourselves from our fellow Catholics. However private our prayers may be, they will be the prayers of one who has been incorporated with the whole Church and who, therefore, can never permit himself, especially in his devotional life, to become self-centred. Moreover, it is in the liturgy of the Mass that we find the model and the inspiration which at all times should govern our intercourse with God. We shall have need to adapt it to our individual needs and to the requirements of special occasions. But, even though we never use its actual language or follow its order, we shall find, if it has made its due impression on us, that we are praying in the spirit of the liturgy. Its echoes will be still reverberating in our souls, and the sense of fellowship which those echoes awaken will fortify and console us in what otherwise would be a terrifying loneliness. The communion of saints is the background of even the most private prayers.


blog comments powered by Disqus