“Through him, with him, and in him in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, for ever and ever.”
With these solemn words, the priest ends the eucharistic prayer at the center of which is the mysterious event of the consecration.
These words at the same time encapsulate the prayer of the church: honor and glory to the triune God through, with, and in Christ.
Although the words are directed to the Father, all glorification of the Father is at the same time glorification of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Indeed, the prayer extols the majesty that the Father imparts to the Son and that both impart to the Holy Spirit from eternity to eternity.
All praise of God is through, with, and in Christ.
Through him, because only through Christ does humanity have access to the Father and because his existence as God-man and his work of salvation are the fullest glorification of the Father;
with him, because all authentic prayer is the fruit of union with Christ and at the same time buttresses this union, and because in honoring the Son one honors the Father and vice versa;
in him, because the praying church is Christ himself, with every individual praying member as a part of his Mystical Body, and because the Father is in the Son and the Son the reflection of the Father, who makes his majesty visible.
The dual meanings of through, with, and in clearly express the God-man’s mediation.
The prayer of the church is the prayer of the ever-living Christ. Its prototype is Christ’s prayer during his human life.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Edith Stein on Prayer
On the subject of Carmelite approaches to prayer (see previous post), on my other blog I've just posted an extract from Before the Face of God by St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) which strikes me as one of the most brilliantly succinct summaries of what prayer, the Mass, and the whole of theology are about that I have ever read. It's so well worth reading that I reproduce it below: