There is a principle in Liturgical Theology called lex orandi, lex credendi, that is the law of prayer is the law of belief. Basically, it maintains that how we pray will show what we believe in. For example, enter into any Catholic Church, and there will be some very similar settings: a small font of holy water by the door, an altar, a tabernacle and lit sanctuary lamp, an ambo, etc.
Christ interacts with us as priest, prophet and king. We will find these three ministries present when we are at Mass. Priest=altar, prophet=ambo, king=presider’s chair. The altar will have a prominent place in the sanctuary of the Church. Our belief is the Eucharist is central to the life of the Christian and the most sacred moment of the Church’s day is when the elements of bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
It’s not just the structure though. Sitting here observing what we are doing, it would be apparent that the community is of importance to Catholics, and that not only do we gather to worship God, we are also being sent on a mission. Recall the closing words of our Mass, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life”.
This expresses our belief that Christ is still active in our world and His love and presence is made known to others through us, who through our celebration of the Sacraments, become sacrament, that is, instruments of Christ at work in the world.
In the Matthew and Luke, we hear Jesus teach his disciples (and through them, teaching us) the Our Father. This simple, yet beautiful and powerful prayer is not just prayer to God that we recite at the end of our day. It is, rather, a pledge in how we are to live in the world. We are called to live what we pray.
Our lives should be focused on God. Our actions and interactions should give glory and praise to God in some way.
We are called to live trusting in God, that he will give us the graces and strength we need to persevere through the unknown, that he has not and will not abandon his people, that his love for us is unconditional.
We are called to grow in love of God; that means recognizing our weaknesses and failures and seeking his forgiveness so that we may grow closer to him and not be anchored in the depths of our darkness.
We are called to share the Lord’s gift of forgiveness. We aren’t to hold grudges.
Being Christian means we are a part of the family of faith, we are not lone rangers. Abraham’s repeated prayers of intercession to God in the Old Testament model for us the responsibility we have for others: not just their physical needs, but also their spiritual needs.
Can others tell we pray the Our Father? Would it be obvious to them after they have had an interaction with us?
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