For more information on prefaces in general, see The Eucharistic Prayer (2) and The Eucharistic Prayer (3)

This preface is used on weekdays in Ordinary Time.

Praise, the gift of God

Our Lord has done many praiseworthy things, but he hasn’t done them for the praise. Does God need affirmation, motivation, or encouragement? He doesn’t actually need anything since he is God. However, he has given us a way to praise him that does justice to him and is beneficial to us.

“For, although you have no need of our praise, yet our thanksgiving is itself your gift since our praises add nothing to your greatness but profit us for salvation, through Christ our Lord.”

When we praise anyone for something they’ve done it makes him or her feel appreciated and acknowledged, but it also shows us to be appreciative. Like any virtue, we need opportunities to exercise it and show it, and a habit of praise is a virtue.

When it comes to Our Lord we have something even more special: he has given us a way to praise God that not only does justice to God but sanctifies us: the Eucharist. Every celebration of the Eucharist, no matter the occasion, consists of praise, worship, and thanksgiving. On the natural level, it makes us considerate, religious, and grateful. On the supernatural level it makes us grow in communion with the object of our praise (God), and all those who praise him as well.

Our Lord doesn’t need our praise or gratitude; he doesn’t need anything. That shouldn’t make us feel it is futile to thank him or to praise him for all he has done. He has also established justice, which is the obligation to give each their due. He deserves our praise and gratitude and in his goodness has made those virtues means for our growth and sanctification. Let’s never cease to praise and thank him.

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