When we pray, how do we do it?
We pray to the Almighty Father. We thank Him for giving us everything. We offer Him His own Son as our sacrifice. We pray on behalf of the whole Church, that we would be delivered from evil and reach the final goal. We pray that everyone, living and dead, would be gathered into Christ’s fold. We give the Father all glory and honor through Christ, and we consecrate ourselves in the Spirit of truth.
We pray this way by praying the Mass together. We pray like Christ Himself prayed at the Last Supper. He prayed to the Father with confidence and trust. He gave thanks for the gift of everything: His existence, born of infinite love. His mission. The glory prepared for Him and for all those predestined for glory with Him. He offered to the Father His sacrifice of obedience. And Christ united Himself with all who believe.
Our prayer at the altar echoes Christ’s priestly prayer. Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper has not passed away; He hasn’t stopped praying to the Father for us. He prays perpetually as our High Priest in heaven. He prays for exactly what we need, when we need it. He pours out the right graces at the right time.
When we pray, we want only to pray with Him. Obviously, we cannot pray on our own any better than He can pray in us.
Praying with Him, uniting ourselves in our inmost souls with Him—that in and of itself can get us on the right track—and keep us on it. We can walk out of church peaceful, focused on what we need to focus on, full of love, ready to do what we need to do and help the people we need to help.
When we pray Christ’s prayer in union with Him, the world makes sense. Our lives make sense. Our duties make sense.
Which doesn’t mean easy. Easy doesn’t actually make sense for us. A self-respecting human being sitting around watching t.v. all day doesn’t make sense. A Christian living as if other people don’t matter doesn’t make sense.
Letting the Holy Spirit consume us with love, like He consumed Christ with love: that makes sense. Walking out of Mass dedicated to loving the least lovable people, like Christ has loved us: makes sense. Living at all times with gratitude to the Father, offering everything to Him, glorifying Him with the smallest, most apparently insignificant actions: all of this makes sense for someone who prays regularly with Christ the High Priest.
Pray like Christ, with Christ, in Christ. Live like Christ, with Christ, in Christ. One week at a time; one day at a time; one hour, one minute, at a time.
Next thing we know, we will be praying and living with Christ in heaven.