JESUS CHRIST PRAYS FOR US, PRAYS IN US, IS PRAYED TO BY US
(A READING FROM THE DISCOURSES OF ST. AUGUSTINE [354-430]ON THE PSALMS)
This is the greatest gift which God could give to men: He made His Word, through Whom He created all things, head over them and joined them to Him as His members, so that He might be Son of God and son of man, one God with the Father, one man with men. So when we turn to God in prayer, we do not separate the Son from Him, and when the body of the Son prays, it does not separate its head from itself: it is the one Saviour of His body, our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, who prays for us and prays in us and is prayed to by us.
He prays for us as our priest; He prays in us as our head; he is prayed to by us as our God.
So we must recognize our voices in Him and His voices in us. When something is said of the Lord Jesus Christ, particularly in prophecy, which would refer, as it were to a certain lowliness unworthy of God, we must not hesitate to attribute it to Him, since He did not hesitate to join Himself to us. For the whole creation is at His service, sincde the whole creation was made through Him.
Accordingly, when we behold His exaltation and His divinity, when we hear the words: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made’, when we behold this supreme divinity of the Son which surpasses all that is exalted in creatures, we hear Him also in some part of the scriptures as it were sighing, praying, confessing.
We hesitate to attribute these words to Him, because our reflection has just been contemplating Him in His divinity and is slow to descend to His lowliness. It directed its words to Him when it was praying to God, and now it wavers generally, as if it would be doing Him a wrong to acknowledge His words as man, and it tries to change their meaning; and yet it meets with nothing in scripture except what always reverts to Him, and does not allow it to turn away from Him.
Let it wake up then and keep watch in its faith. Let is see that He whom it was contemplating a little earlier in the form of God took on the form of a servant; made in the likeness of man and found in human form, He humbled Himself, made obedient to death; and He wished to make His own the words of the psalm, as He hung on the cross and said: ‘My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?’
So He is prayed to in the form of God, He prays in the form of a servant: in the first case as creator, in the latter as created, the unchanged taking on the creature that the creature may be changed, and making us with Himself one man, head and body. We pray to Him, through Him, in Him; we speak with Him, He speaks with us.
Short Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Son of God, who prays for us and prays in us and is prayed to by us. I adore You and praise You Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.
Taken from THE DIVINE OFFICE II – LENT AND EASTERTIDE – The Office of Reading – The Second Reading, pages 224-225.
A Christian Pilgrim