As the first full week of Lent concludes and we prepare for yet another fantastic installment of grace and direction, we are served with the timeless and excellent anthem for our spiritual journey in the words of the Lord’s Prayer, known to most of the world as the “Our Father” prayer. The Catholic Church’s Catechism puts it brilliantly as it teaches that The Lord’s Prayer is truly the summary of the whole gospel. Since the Lord . . . after handing over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, ‘Ask and you will receive.’ Since everyone has petitions peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer [the Lord’s Prayer] is said first, as the foundation of other desires. (2761)
“Our Father who art in heaven” We acknowledge we are His children.
“hallowed be thy name” We acknowledge the power in His name.
“thy Kingdom come” We acknowledge and desire His Kingdom.
“thy will be done” We desire to follow God.
“on earth as it is in heaven.” We realize there is this life and the next.
“Give us this day our daily bread,” We ask for all of our needs.
“and forgive us our trespasses,” We beg forgiveness.
“as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We pledge forgiveness.
“and lead us not into temptation,” We ask for courage and strength.
“but deliver us from evil.” We ask for protection from the devil.
Sometime today, even late this evening when all is said and done, reflect slowly on the words of this incredible gift of this prayer, the only one Jesus taught us, and allow Him to hold you safe within his most Sacred Heart.
“You need to be bold in another way to speak the second half. Give us. Forgive us. Don’t test us. Deliver us. If it takes guts to face the omnipotence that is God’s, it takes perhaps no less to face the impotence that is ours. We can do nothing without God. We can have nothing without God. Without God we are nothing. It is only the words “Our Father” that make the prayer bearable. If God is indeed something like a father, then as something like children maybe we can risk approaching him anyway.” Frederick Bruekner