Catechism of the Catholic Church

Isn’t praying a flight from reality?
Someone who prays does not flee from reality; rather, he opens his eyes for reality as a whole. From Almighty God himself he receives the strength to cope with reality. Prayer is like going to a gas station where we get free fuel for our long journeys and extreme challenges. Praying does not lead out of reality but, rather, deeper into it. Praying does not take time away from other things but, rather, doubles the remaining time and fills it with intrinsic meaning.

Is it possible to pray always?
Prayer is always possible. Prayer is vitally necessary. Prayer and life cannot be separated. You cannot keep God content with a few words in the morning or evening. Our life must become prayer, and our prayers must become life. Every Christian life story is also a story of prayer, one long attempt to achieve ever greater union with God. Because many Christians experience a heartfelt longing to be with God constantly, they turn to the so-called “Jesus prayer”, which has been an age-old custom particularly in the Eastern Churches. The person who prays it tries to integrate a simple formula – the most well-known formula is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” – into his daily routine in such a way that it becomes a constant prayer.

Can you pray anywhere?
Yes, you can pray anywhere. Nevertheless a Catholic will always look also for those places where God “dwells” in a special way. Above all these are Catholic churches, where our Lord is present in the tabernacle under the appearance of bread. It is very important for us to pray everywhere: in school, on the subway, during a party, in the midst of our friends. The whole world has to be drenched with blessings. But it is also important for us to visit sacred places, where God waits for us, so to speak, so that we can rest in his presence, be strengthened, replenished, and sent forth by him. A genuine Christian is never just sightseeing when he visits a church. He lingers a moment in silence, adores God, and renews his friendship and love for him.

When should a person pray?
From the earliest times Christians have prayed at least in the morning, at meals, and in the evening. Someone who does not pray regularly will soon not pray at all. Anyone who loves another person and all day long never gives that person a sign of his love does not really love him. So it is with God, too. Anyone who truly seeks him will keep sending him signals of his longing for his company and friendship. Get up in the morning and give the day to God, asking for his blessing and to “be there” in all your meetings and needs. Thank him, especially at mealtimes. At the end of the day, place everything into his hands, ask him for forgiveness, and pray for peace for yourself and others. A great day full of signs of life that reach God.

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