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From Father Joe: The Prayer of the Faithful

Posted by Father Joe Connelly on

 

After the Creed, during the celebration of the Mass, we enter what the Church calls, “The Prayer of  the Faithful.” This is known by most Catholics as the part of the Mass where specific prayers are offered and the people respond with, “Lord hear our prayer.” This is a wonderful part of the Mass where the laity practice what the Church calls the “Common Priesthood.” The common priesthood is shared by all the baptized and gives us the ability to call God Father and offer prayers to Him for ourselves, our neighbors, and the world. To pray unceasingly is one of the great commands of Christ and is our duty to pray always and everywhere. I remember a priest friend of mine told me an experience he had while celebrating Mass, the church he was celebrating the Mass had the practice  of opening the prayers of the faithful so that anyone in the congregation could say aloud the prayers they wanted to offer. When the time came for people to offer their prayers, they would talk over each other and interrupt in order that their prayers could be heard. It quickly devolved into chaos and the priest had to put a stop to the practice. While the congregation was enthusiastic, they were misguided in thinking that if their prayers were not said aloud during the Mass that they were somehow lesser prayers. God hears all our prayers whether said aloud or in silence, and every Sunday the Mass is said for the entire community and their intentions. While it is good  that our prayers are said aloud after the creed, know that whatever you are praying for in the silence of your hearts, God hears. And in the end the words are less important than the heart that is offering them, as the Psalmist said, “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (Psalm 66:18)

In Christ, Fr. Joe Connelly

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