PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section Two: The Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father”
Article 2, “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”
IV. “Who Art in Heaven” (cont’d)
§ 2796 When the Church prays “Our Father, who art in Heaven,” she is professing that we are the People of God, already seated “with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” and “hidden with Christ in God” (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:3); yet, at the same time, “here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling” (2 Corinthians 5:2; cf. Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 13:14).
- “[Christians] are in the flesh, but do not live according to the flesh. They spend their lives on earth, but are citizens of Heaven” (ED 5: PG 2, 1173).
§ 2797 Simple and faithful trust, humble and joyous assurance are the proper dispositions for one who prays the Our Father.
§ 2798 We can invoke God as “Father” because the Son of God made Man has revealed Him to us. In this Son, through Baptism, we are incorporated and adopted as sons of God.
§ 2799 The Lord’s Prayer brings us into communion with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. At the same time, it reveals us to ourselves (cf. GS 22 § 1).
§ 2800 Praying to our Father should develop in us the will to become like Him and foster in us a humble and trusting heart.
§ 2801 When we say “Our” Father, we are invoking the New Covenant in Jesus Christ, communion with the Holy Trinity, and the Divine Love which spreads through the Church to encompass the world.
§ 2802 “Who art in heaven” does not refer to a place but to God’s Majesty and His Presence in the hearts of the just. Heaven, the Father’s house, is the true Homeland toward which we are heading and to which, already, we belong.
Article 3, The Seven Petitions
§ 2803 After we have placed ourselves in the Presence of God our Father to adore and to love and to bless Him, the Spirit of adoption stirs up in our hearts seven petitions, seven blessings. The first three, more theologal, draw us toward the Glory of the Father; the last four, as ways toward Him, commend our wretchedness to His grace. “Deep calls to deep” (Psalms 42:7).
Tomorrow – The Seven Petitions (to be continued)
(Part IV, Section 2, Article 3 – to be continued)
[Editor’s Note: The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]
- “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
- “ED” – “Epistola ad Diognetum [Epistle to Diognetus – early 2nd century]”
- “GS” – “Gaudium et Spes [Joy and Hope]”, Vatican Council II
- “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.)
A Sunday Blessing
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you!
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace! †cf. Numbers 6:24-26