Catholic spirituality

Catholic spirituality includes the various ways in which Catholics live out their Baptismal promise, through prayer and action. The primary prayer of all Catholics is the Eucharistic liturgy in which they celebrate and share their faith together, in accord with Jesus' instruction: " Do this in memory of me." The Catholic bishops at the Second Vatican Council decreed that "devotions should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some fashion derived from it, and lead the people to it, since, in fact, the liturgy by its very nature far surpasses any of them." [1] In accord with this, many additional forms of prayer have developed over the centuries as means of animating one's personal Christian life, at times in gatherings with others. Each of the religious orders and congregations of the Catholic church, as well as lay groupings, has specifics to its own spirituality – its way of approaching God in prayer to foster its way of living out the Gospel.

Catholic devotional piety

Catholic piety takes its inspiration from the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. Most fundamentally, Jesus prayed to God the Father, in the Holy Spirit, and recommended that we do the same. In the Gospels his prayer starts with "Father" and the prayer he taught his disciples begins with the words "Our Father". From this the Catholic Church has developed a piety that for the most part mirrors Jesus's attitude. The prayers of the Mass, the public prayer of the Church, are characteristically addressed to God the Father. The Catholic bishops declared in 1963: "Devotions should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some fashion derived from it, and lead the people to it, since, in fact, the liturgy by its very nature far surpasses any of them." [2]

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