PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section Two: The Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father”
Article 2, “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”
III. “Our” Father (cont’d)
§ 2788 Since the Lord’s Prayer is that of His people in the “end-time,” this “our” also expresses the certitude of our hope in God’s ultimate promise: in the New Jerusalem, He will say to the victor, “I will be his God and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:7).
§ 2789 When we pray to “our” Father, we personally address the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. By doing so, we do not divide the Godhead, since the Father is its “Source and Origin,” but rather confess that the Son is Eternally Begotten by Him and the Holy Spirit proceeds from Him. We are not confusing the Persons, for we confess that our communion is with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, in their One Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity is consubstantial and indivisible. When we pray to the Father, we adore and glorify Him together with the Son and the Holy Spirit.
§ 2790 Grammatically, “our” qualifies a reality common to more than one Person. There is only One God, and he is recognized as Father by those who, through faith in His Only Son, are reborn of Him by water and the Spirit (cf. 1 John 5:1; Jn 3:5). The Church is this new communion of God and men. United with the Only Son, who has become “the firstborn among many brethren,” she is in communion with one and the same Father in one and the same Holy Spirit (Romans 8:29; cf. Ephesians 4:4-6). In praying “our” Father, each of the baptized is praying in this communion: “The company of those who believed were of one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32).
§ 2791 For this reason, in spite of the divisions among Christians, this prayer to “our” Father remains our common patrimony [heritage] and an urgent summons for all the baptized. In communion by faith in Christ and by Baptism, they ought to join in Jesus’ prayer for the unity of His disciples (cf. UR 8; 22).
§ 2792 Finally, if we pray the Our Father sincerely, we leave individualism behind, because the love that we receive frees us from it. The “our” at the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer, like the “us” of the last four petitions, excludes no one. If we are to say it truthfully, our divisions and oppositions have to be overcome (cf. Matthew 5:23-24; 6:14-15).
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]”
- “UR” – “Unitatis Redintegratio [Restoration of Unity]”, Vatican Council II