YOUTCAT contents for At-Home Lesson#3

YOUCAT# 491~493, and 496~498 + p.270~271 margin [1]

YOUCAT#491 Can you learn to pray from the Bible?

The BIBLE is like a wellspring of prayer. To pray with the Word of God means to use the words and events of the Bible for one’s own prayer. “To be ignorant of Scripture is to be ignorant of Christ” (St. Jerome). [2652-2653]

Sacred Scripture, especially the Psalms and the NEW TESTAMENT, are a valuable treasury; in it we find the most beautiful and most powerful prayers of the Judeo-Christian world. Reciting these prayers unites us with millions of people from all times and cultures who have prayed, but above all with Christ himself, who is present in all these prayers.

YOUCAT#492 Does my personal prayer have something to do with the prayer of the Church?

In the Church’s public worship, in her Liturgy of the Hours and in Holy Mass, common prayers are recited that come from Sacred Scripture or from the Tradition of the Church. They unite the individual with the praying community of the Church. [2655-2658, 2662]

Christian prayer is not a private matter, but it is very personal. Personal prayer becomes purified, expands, and is strengthened when it regularly flows into the prayer of the whole Church. It is a great and beautiful sign when believers throughout the earth are united at the same time in the same prayers and thereby sing one hymn of praise to God.

YOUCAT#493 What are the characteristics of Christian prayer?

Christian prayer is prayer in the attitude of faith, hope, and charity. It is persevering and resigns itself to the will of God. [2656-2658, 2662]

Someone who prays as a Christian steps at that moment out of himself and enters into an attitude of trusting faith in the one God and Lord; at the same time he places all his hope in God—that HE will hear, understand, accept, and perfect him. St. John Bosco once said, “To know the will of God, three things are required: prayer, waiting, taking counsel.” Finally, Christian prayer is always an expression of love, which comes from Christ’s love and seeks the divine love.

YOUCAT#496 Why do we need the Holy Spirit when we pray?

The BIBLE says, “We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words” (Rom 8:26).

Praying to God is possible only with God. It is not primarily our accomplishment that our prayer actually reaches God. We Christians have received the Spirit of Jesus, who wholeheartedly yearned to be one with the Father: to be loving at all times, to listen to each other with complete attention, to understand each other thoroughly, to want wholeheartedly what the other person wants. This holy Spirit of Jesus is in us, and he is speaking through us when we pray. Basically prayer means that from the depths of my heart, God speaks to God. The Holy Spirit helps our spirit to pray. Hence we should say again and again, “Come, Holy Spirit, come and help me to pray.”

YOUCAT#497 Why does it help to turn to the saints when we pray?

Saints are people who are aflame with the Holy Spirit; they keep God’s fire burning in the Church. Even during their earthly life, the saints prayed ardently, in a way that was contagious. When we are close to them, it is easy to pray. Of course, we never worship saints; we are allowed, though, to call on them in heaven, so that they may present petitions for us at the throne of God. [2683-2684]

Around the great saints developed particular schools of SPIRITUALITY, which like the colors of the spectrum all point to the pure light of God. They all start with a fundamental element of the faith, so as to lead—in each case by a different gate—to the center of the faith and devotion to God. Thus Franciscan spirituality starts with poverty of spirit, Benedictine spirituality with the praise of God, and Ignatian spirituality with discernment and vocation. A spirituality to which someone feels attracted, depending on his personal character, is always a school of prayer.

YOUCAT#498 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. [2691, 2696]

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.

p.270~271 margin

Prayer does not change God, but it changes the person who prays.



Prayer is nothing other than attention in its purest form.


(1909-1943, French political activist, philosopher, and mystic)

You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised. . . . And man, so small a part of your creation, wants to praise you. . . .You yourself encourage him to delight in your praise, for you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.



My secret is quite simple: I pray. And through my prayer I become one with the love of Christ and see that praying is loving him, that praying is living with him, and that means making his words come true. . . . For me, praying means being one with the will of Jesus twenty-four hours a day, living for him, through him, and with him.



References / Citations

[1] Miller, Michael J, and Benedict. Youcat English: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. San Francisco, Calif: Ignatius Press, 2011, pp.270-274.

[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994.

[3] BibleGateway (online bible).