PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section Two: The Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father”
Article 3, The Seven Petitions
III. “Thy Will Be Done on Earth as It Is in Heaven” (cont’d)
§ 2825 “Although he was a Son, [Jesus] learned obedience through what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). How much more reason have we sinful creatures to learn obedience – we who in Him have become children of adoption. We ask our Father to unite our will to His Son’s, in order to fulfill His will, His plan of salvation for the life of the world. We are radically incapable of this, but united with Jesus and with the power of His Holy Spirit, we can surrender our will to Him and decide to choose what His Son has always chosen: to do what is pleasing to the Father (cf. John 8:29).
- “In committing ourselves to [Christ], we can become one spirit with Him, and thereby accomplish His will, in such wise that it will be perfect on Earth as it is in Heaven” (DeOr 26: PG 11, 501B).
- “Consider how [Jesus Christ] teaches us to be humble, by making us see that our virtue does not depend on our work alone but on grace from On High. He commands each of the faithful who prays to do so universally, for the whole world. For He did not say “thy will be done in me or in us,” but “on earth,” the whole Earth, so that error may be banished from it, truth take root in it, all vice be destroyed on it, virtue flourish on it, and Earth no longer differ from Heaven” (HIM 19, 5: PG 57, 280).
§ 2826 By prayer we can discern “what is the will of God” and obtain the endurance to do it (Romans 12:2; cf. Ephesians 5:17; cf. Heb 10:36). Jesus teaches us that one enters the Kingdom of Heaven not by speaking words, but by doing “the will of my Father in heaven (Matthew 7:21).
§ 2827 “If any one is a worshiper of God and does His will, God listens to Him” (Jn 9:31; cf. 1 Jn 5:14). Such is the power of the Church’s prayer in the Name of her Lord, above all in the Eucharist. Her prayer is also a communion of intercession with the all-holy Mother of God (cf. Luke 1:38, 49) and all the saints who have been pleasing to the Lord because they willed His will alone:
- “It would not be inconsistent with the truth to understand the words, ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,’ to mean: ‘in the Church as in our Lord Jesus Christ Himself’; or ‘in the Bride who has been betrothed, just as in the Bridegroom who has accomplished the will of the Father” (SDM 2, 6, 24: PL 34, 1279).
Tomorrow – “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”
(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]”
- “DeOr” – Origen, “De Oratione [About Prayer]”
- “HIM” – St. John Chrysostom, “Homiliae in Matthaeum [Homilies on Matthew]”
- “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]”
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