Without God, man is stunted. But he is without God if he can no longer talk to God. That is why prayer is not just a private exercise for weak souls, with nothing to offer those who are strong. On the contrary, the real concern of prayer is all that relates to the future of mankind, to the humanity of man as such. For when a person no longer rises above himself in his search for God, he becomes changed—narrower, smaller. Essential organs become atrophied in him. His soul becomes coarser and less discriminating. Eventually he can no longer love the other or even himself. “We can love people only when they bear God within them.” Only when we see God in other people despite all their faults can we be genuinely human. But how can we see a God whom we do not know? And how are we to know him when there is no contact between him and us, when we have forgotten how to speak with him? We must renew the practice of speaking with God; however extensive our knowledge of other languages, we must relearn the noblest use of language—that of speaking with God. To do so, we must let ourselves be guided by the traditional Christian prayers already in existence. I would like just to mention here a prayerful phrase that is especially dear to me because it seems to embody the innermost foundation and the innermost core of every conceivable prayer. I am referring to the words “our Father”, which are the source from which all further prayer flows and by which it is sustained.
Ratzinger, J. (1992). Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year. (I. Grassl, Ed., M. F. McCarthy & L. Krauth, Trans.) (p. 97). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.