PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section Two: The Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father”
Article 2, “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”
II. “Father!” (cont’d)
§ 2784 The free gift of adoption requires on our part continual conversion and new life. Praying to our Father should develop in us two fundamental dispositions:
First, the desire to become like Him: though created in His Image, we are restored to His likeness by grace; and we must respond to this grace.
- “We must remember…and know that when we call God ‘our Father’, we ought to behave as sons of God” (DDO 11: PL 4:526B).
- “You cannot call the God of all kindness your Father if you preserve a cruel and inhuman heart; for in this case you no longer have in you the marks of the Heavenly Father’s kindness” (DOD 3: PG 51, 44).
- “We must contemplate the beauty of the Father without ceasing and adorn our own souls accordingly” (DOrD 2: PG 44, 1148B).
§ 2785 Second, a humble and trusting heart that enables us “to turn and become like children” (Matthew 18:3): for it is to “little children” that the Father is revealed (cf. Mt 11:25).
- “[The prayer is accomplished] by the contemplation of God alone, and by the warmth of love, through which the soul, molded and directed to love him, speaks very familiarly to God as to its own Father with special devotion” (Co 9, 18: PL 49, 788C).
- “Our Father: at this Name, Love is aroused in us…and the confidence of obtaining what we are about to ask…What would He not give to His children who ask, since He has already granted them the gift of being His children?” (SDM 2, 4, 16: PL 34, 1276)
III. “Our” Father
§ 2786 “Our” Father refers to God. The adjective, as used by us, does not express possession, but an entirely new relationship with God.
§ 2787 When we say “our” Father, we recognize first that all His promises of love announced by the prophets are fulfilled in the new and eternal covenant in His Christ: we have become “His” people and He is henceforth “our” God. This new relationship is the purely gratuitous gift of belonging to each other: we are to respond to “grace and truth” given us in Jesus Christ with love and faithfulness (John 1:17; cf. Hosea 2:21-22; 6:1-6).
Tomorrow – “Our” Father (to be continued)
(Part IV, Section 2, Article 2 – to be continued)
[Editor’s Note: The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]
- “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
- “Co” – St. John Cassian, “Collationes [Conferences]”
- “DDO” – St. Cyprian, “De Dominica Oratione [The Lord’s Prayer]”
- “DOD” – St. John Chrysostom, “De Oratione Dominica [The Lord’s Prayer]”
- “DOrD” – St. Gregory of Nyssa, “De Oratione Dominica [The Lord’s Prayer]”
- “PG” – “Patrologia Graeca [Greek Patrology]”, an enormous collection of writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers in the Greek language published by J. P. Migne, (Paris, 1857‑1866 A.D.)
- “PL” – “Patrologia Latina [Latin Patrology]”, an enormous collection of writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers in the Latin language published by J. P. Migne, (Paris, 1841‑1855 A.D.)
- “SDM” – St. Augustine, “De Sermone Domini in Monte [The Lord’s Sermon on the Mount]”