“I would like to encourage everyone to pray with the same words Jesus used, words that for thousands of years have been part of the prayer of Israel and the Church.” —Pope St. John Paul II
As an expression of his love for the Church’s Liturgy – Saint John Paul II wrote and taught extensively on the Eucharist and the Divine Office. It is the brothers’ daily joy to participate in this prayer of the Church, in union with all the faithful around the world.
Saint John Paul II spent the last four years of his life giving catechetical instructions on the Psalms that are prayed daily in Liturgy of the Hours. He hoped to share his love for the work of God among all the faithful.
Excerpts from Saint John Paul II’s teaching:
“In the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, I expressed the hope that the Church would become more and more distinguished in the ‘art of prayer,’ learning it ever anew from the lips of the Divine Master (cf. n. 32). This effort must be expressed above all in the liturgy, the source and summit of ecclesial life. Consequently, it is important to devote greater pastoral care to promoting the Liturgy of the Hours as a prayer of the whole People of God.”
“In the Psalms, the human being fully discovers himself.”
“The Fathers (of the Church) were firmly convinced that the Psalms speak of Christ. The risen Jesus, in fact, applied the Psalms to himself when he said to the disciples: ‘Everything written about me in the law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled’
“The Fathers add that in the Psalms Christ is spoken to or it is even Christ who speaks. In saying this, they were thinking not only of the individual person of Christ, but of the ‘Christus totus,’ the total Christ, composed of Christ the Head and his members.” “Christians were thus able to read the Book of Psalms in the light of the whole mystery of Christ.”
“This same perspective also brings out the ecclesial dimension, which is particularly highlighted when the Psalms are sung chorally.” “By praying the Psalms as a community, the Christian mind remembered and understood that it is impossible to turn to the Father who dwells in heaven without an authentic communion of life with one’s brothers and sisters who live on earth.”
“…In singing the Psalms, the Christian feels a sort of harmony between the Spirit present in the Scriptures and the Spirit who dwells within him through the grace of Baptism. More than praying in his own words, he echoes those ‘sighs too deep for words’ mentioned by St. Paul (cf. Rom 8.26), with which the Lord’s Spirit urges believers to join in Jesus’ characteristic invocation: ‘Abba! Father!’
(Rom 8.15; Gal 4.6)”