Having completed the survey of the first three parts of the Catechism — the Profession of Faith (summarized here on the pages Faith Seeking Understanding and Truths of the Faith), the Celebration of the Christian Mystery (Liturgy and Sacraments), and Life in Christ — we now enter Part Four on Christian Prayer.
While we most often think of prayer as our addressing God, we can overlook the fact that it is God Who seeks us first. Even when we’re asking God for things, our prayer is actually a response to His stirring deep within us.
This amazing truth is reflected in the Gospel story of Jesus’ meeting the Samaritan woman at the well, where He asks her for water (John 4:5-26).
As the Catechism explains,
Jesus thirsts; His asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for Him.
— paragraph 2560.
Prayer is thus an intimate communion with God that takes place in our hearts, an expression of our covenant relationship with Him. We go within to meet the God Who ardently awaits us, our cries, our longings, our thanks and praise.
For more, see Catechism paragraphs 2558-67.