Sunday, September 13, 2020 –
Howdy, campers! Welcome back! Yesterday we finished up our expressions of prayer, and today we are moving into our FORMS OF PRAYER, beginning with BLESSING and ADORATION.
I am covering this one first because that is the order in the Catechism, but also because it goes really (I mean REALLY) well with yesterday’s discussion. Remember, yesterday we talked about contemplative prayer and how it is being in God’s presence. Today we are going to take that “being” and go one step further: God loving us and us loving Him back!
This form is usually a bit confusing for people because if you follow the general guide of the interwebs (which you shouldn’t), you will find a lot of people use the acrostic A.C.T.S. to divide the types of prayer. A.C.T.S. stands for Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Personally, I do not like to divide it this way because it leaves out praise and intercession. Also, contrition is actually a supplication (petition), but I digress down the rabbit hole of bad online catechesis.
Unfortunately, the definitions associated with these words do not line up. For example, adoration (ahem…blessing) usually has the definition associate with prayers of praise (to be covered in a few days). To boot, “praise” is not a phrase you usually find in the general A.C.T.S. guides of the interwebs because the acrostic doesn’t even have a P!
Umm…what!? Well, that is because when we talk about “Blessing and Adoration” we are actually talking about something a wee bit (read: A LOT) different than prayers of praise (again, which we will get to in a few days). For realz, people, despite what the interwebs tells you, this is NOT the definition of Blessing and Adoration:
For the record, that came from the Cathedral website for my own Diocese. #FacePalm There is so much wrong with this definition and the confusion of prayers of thanksgiving with prayers of praise, which isn’t even on the radar of what they are supposed to be defining…AHH!…NO! Calm down Mrs. Flusche. Not everyone sat through your 3rd Grade CCD class. #DeepBreath
Anyhoo, back to what we ARE discussing today: BLESSING and ADORATION. The short and sweet definition is this:
You are responding to God’s love and loving Him back through prayer (BLESSING). You adore God by worshiping Him (ADORATION) because He is God and because of His love for you.
Want to know what the Catechism says? Look no further:
I. BLESSING AND ADORATION
2626 Blessing expresses the basic movement of Christian prayer: it is an encounter between God and man. In blessing, God’s gift and man’s acceptance of it are united in dialogue with each other. The prayer of blessing is man’s response to God’s gifts: because God blesses, the human heart can in return bless the One who is the source of every blessing.
2627 Two fundamental forms express this movement: our prayer ascends in the Holy Spirit through Christ to the Father – we bless him for having blessed us; it implores the grace of the Holy Spirit that descends through Christ from the Father – he blesses us.
2628 Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the “King of Glory,” respectful silence in the presence of the “ever greater” God. Adoration of the thrice-holy and sovereign God of love blends with humility and gives assurance to our supplications.
2645 Because God blesses the human heart, it can in return bless him who is the source of every blessing.
By “bless” we do not mean like how a Priest blesses a Rosary. We mean we extol (glorify) the name of God because He is the source of all-goodness and bestows His eternal love on us. He loves us with an infinite love, and we return that love by being with Him, our Creator.
Mother of Divine Grace, pray for us!