The old Catechism, sometimes called the Penny Catechism, defines prayer as the raising up of the mind and heart to God.† This can be done in formalised words as in the Lordís Prayer or the Hail Mary but we can also talk to God in an informal way.† He is our Father who loves us and we do not always have to be formal with him.† Meditation is another form of prayer.
Often actions can be a form of prayer.† There is a lovely prayer, called the Morning Offering which we can say each day in which we offer to God everything we do that day.† There are numerous variations of the following prayer.† This is just one of them:
O Jesus I offer you my prayers, works, joys, sufferings of this day,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world.
I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart;
the salvation of souls, the reparation for sin, the reunion of Christians;
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. †††††††††††† Amen.
Jesus himself gave us the Lordís Prayer (the Our Father) when the Apostles asked him to teach them how to pray.† This prayer contains seven petitions; the first three deal with God while in the next four, we pray for ourselves.
Father who art in
The Hail Mary† (Ave Maria)
∑ The first sentence of this prayer is taken from St. Lukeís Gospel when the Angel Gabriel visited Mary to announce that she was to be the mother of the Saviour.†
∑ The second sentence, we repeat the words said by St. Elizabeth when Mary visited her soon after the Annunciation.
∑ In the last sentence, added by the Church, we ask Mary to intercede for us.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am very sorry for my sins because they have offended you.† With the help of your grace, I will not sin again.† Amen