Question 001

What is prayer?

… prayer can be compared to the breath of the soul…this life is for praying, (while) in heaven there will be no praying only praising… In prayer we turn to God alone, because… we are all beggars before God…we can only plead.

from St. Augustine Answers 101 Questions on Prayer by Fr. Ermatinger.


In the prayers of this life, man is a threefold beggar; 1.) As a creature, everything that he has and ever will have comes from God’s magnanimity. 2.) On account of his sins and turning away from God, he has forfeited all and can only hope upon God’s mercy. 3.) On account of his redemption and sanctification, all that he has gained comes from God’s charity. Prayer here in this life is laborious, for it is a fight against the disorders of the soul and the world that seek destruction and a progress towards that which is hoped for in prayer, namely the obtainment of God. In heaven, the work will be complete, for the soul will no longer be disordered, the world ended, and God obtained. The activity will then only be the contemplating praise of God. – PPP