PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section Two: The Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father”
Article 3, The Seven Petitions
I. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (cont’d)
§ 2813 In the waters of Baptism, we have been “washed…sanctified…justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). Our Father calls us to holiness in the whole of our life, and since “he is the source of our life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and…sanctification” (1 Cor 1:30; cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:7), both His glory and our life depend on the hallowing of His Name in us and by us. Such is the urgency of our first petition.
- “By whom is God hallowed, since He is the one who hallows? But since He said, ‘You shall be holy to me; for I the LORD am holy,’ we seek and ask that we, who were sanctified in Baptism, may persevere in what we have begun to be. And we ask this daily, for we need sanctification daily, so that we who fail daily may cleanse away our sins by being sanctified continually…We pray that this sanctification may remain in us” (DDO 12: PL 4, 527A; Leviticus 20:26).
§ 2814 The sanctification of His Name among the nations depends inseparably on our life and our prayer:
- “We ask God to hallow His Name, which by its own Holiness saves and makes holy all creation…It is this Name that gives salvation to a lost world. But we ask that this Name of God should be hallowed in us through our actions. For God’s Name is blessed when we live well, but is blasphemed when we live wickedly. As the Apostle says: “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” We ask then that, just as the Name of God is Holy, so we may obtain His Holiness in our souls” (Ser 71, 4: PL 52:402A; cf. Romans 2:24; Ezekiel 36:20-22).
- “When we say ‘hallowed be Thy Name,’ we ask that it should be hallowed in us, who are in Him; but also in others whom God’s grace still awaits, that we may obey the precept that obliges us to pray for everyone, even our enemies. That is why we do not say expressly ‘hallowed be Thy Name “in us,”’ for we ask that it be so in all men” (DeO 3: PL 1:1157A).
§ 2815 This petition embodies all the others. Like the six petitions that follow, it is fulfilled by the prayer of Christ. Prayer to our Father is our prayer, if it is prayed in the Name of Jesus (cf. John 14:13; 15:16; 16:24, 26). In His priestly prayer, Jesus asks: “Holy Father, protect in your name those whom you have given me” (Jn 17:11).
Tomorrow – “Thy Kingdom Come”
(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]”
- “DDO” – St. Cyprian, “De Dominica Oratione [The Lord’s Prayer]”
- “DeO” – Tertullian, “De Oratione [Prayer]”
- “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.)
- “Ser” – St. Peter Chrysologus, “Sermones [Sermons]”
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