We can pray, says Schaller (Asking and Thanking (Concilium), 5-6), only because of the rights of children given us by God: He has “admitted [us] to his presence. It is his will that we should not keep silent before him.”
Thus, “where we venture to turn to God with a request, we also always implicitly give thanks. We recognize the degree to which our prayers are undeserved, and therefore know that without claims or merit on our part we are accepted by God himself, and are filled with his Spirit in which alone we can call on God and ask God in an appropriate way.”
Only when we recognize that every request is also thanks does prayer “become different from a human arrogance, the idea that in a presumptuous and arrogant way we can make God concerned with our petty human life.” This is also what makes prayer different from abject begging: “It is neither presumption nor a failure to heed our creatureliness, but an expression of our worth.”
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Friday, July 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm
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