Recent Addresses and Pastoral Letters

Launch of the YOUCAT Prayer Book

LAUNCH OF THE YOUCAT PRAYER BOOK BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT JAMES GOOLD HOUSE ON FRIDAY, 21ST JUNE 2013 AT 3.00 P.M.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
I do not think I have ever met such an attractive prayer book as the YouCat Youth Prayer Book.  It is of course an English translation of an earlier initiative in German in 2011, later extended to the United States and published by Ignatius Press, San Francisco.  Freedom Publishing has done a tremendous thing in making this book available.
 
Prayer is always a conversation with God – speaking and listening.  There is a beautiful introduction “You can pray”.  We can tell you that although we do not know you personally at all, but the one to whom you can pray and wants to speak to you knows you.  He is quite close to you.  He knows you better than you know yourself and is closer to you than you are to yourself.  Jesus is God who became man.  Praying means entrusting yourself to God in everything.
 
So I do urge you to look at the Introduction and to see also the Little School of Prayer.  It gives a programme for us.  Make the decision, be faithful in little things.  Take time to pray.  Prepare a place and rituals. 
 
A fixed order gives structure to prayer.  The first part is, ‘I will praise you day by day’ – a two week prayer book with prayers for each day.  The second part, ‘You have called us friends’, gives us prayers for various moments in life; praising the Father, listening to the Son, invoking the Holy Spirit, adoring God, forgiveness and redemption, discerning and deciding, responding to a call, praying for others, calling in time of need, praying with the Mother of Jesus.  There is a collection of popular prayers, beautifully illustrated, very much adapted to the dynamic way of praying that young people like.
 
I think it is a tremendous contribution to the spiritual life of our Church and I hope that many young people and many groups will learn that praying is the most normal and blessed thing in all the world.
 
My prayer today is that YouCat Youth Prayer Book will be something that will be taken up, not only by those who go on pilgrimage to World Youth Day, although I would hope they would use it, but to be something which gives them an introduction to a contact with God, which is life-giving, which brings peace and will renew our lives. 
 
Saint Teresa of Avila said in her Little Prayer on the back of the book:  “Prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends.  It means taking time frequently to be alone with him, whom we know loves us.”  Saint Teresa was a great prayer, a great lover of God, one who leads us deeper and deeper to know God more and to find more in our life.  That I believe is what we wish to offer to every young person; the real discovery that Christ loves them, supports them and is never far away.  Thank you for this project and for all who have contributed to it.
 
 
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

 
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