PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section Two: The Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father” (cont’d)
Article 4, The Final Doxology
§ 2855 The final doxology, “For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours, now and forever,” takes up again, by inclusion, the first three petitions to our Father: the glorification of His Name, the coming of His Reign, and the power of His saving will. But these prayers are now proclaimed as adoration and thanksgiving, as in the liturgy of Heaven (cf. Revelation 1:6; 4:11; 5:13).
The ruler of this world [Satan] has mendaciously [falsely] attributed to himself the three titles of kingship, power, and glory (cf. Luke 4:5-6). Christ, the Lord, restores them to His Father and our Father, until He hands over the Kingdom to Him [the Father] when the mystery of salvation will be brought to its completion and God will be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
§ 2856 “Then, after the prayer is over you say ‘Amen,’ which means ‘So be it,’ thus ratifying with our ‘Amen’ what is contained in the prayer that God has taught us” (CM 5, 18: PG 33, 1124; cf. Lk 1:38).
§ 2857 In the Our Father, the object of the first three petitions is the glory of the Father: the sanctification of His Name, the coming of the Kingdom, and the fulfillment of His will. The four others present our wants to Him: they ask that our lives be nourished, healed of sin, and made victorious in the struggle of good over evil.
§ 2858 By asking “hallowed be thy name”, we enter into God’s plan, the sanctification of His Name – revealed first to Moses and then in Jesus – by us and in us, in every nation and in each man.
§ 2859 By the second petition, the Church looks first to Christ’s Return and the Final Coming of the Reign of God. It also prays for the growth of the Kingdom of God in the “today” of our own lives.
§ 2860 In the third petition, we ask our Father to unite our will to that of His Son, so as to fulfill His plan of salvation in the life of the world.
§ 2861 In the fourth petition, by saying “give us,” we express in communion with our brethren our filial trust in our Heavenly Father. “Our daily bread” refers to the earthly nourishment necessary to everyone for subsistence, and also to the Bread of Life: the Word of God and the Body of Christ. It is received in God’s “today,” as the indispensable, (super-) essential nourishment of the Feast of the coming Kingdom anticipated in the Eucharist.
§ 2862 The fifth petition begs God’s Mercy for our offences, Mercy which can penetrate our hearts only if we have learned to forgive our enemies, with the example and help of Christ.
§ 2863 When we say “lead us not into temptation”, we are asking God not to allow us to take the path that leads to sin. This petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength; it requests the grace of vigilance and final perseverance.
§ 2864 In the last petition, “but deliver us from evil”, Christians pray to God with the Church to show forth the victory, already won by Christ, over the “ruler of this world,” Satan, the angel personally opposed to God and to His plan of salvation.
§ 2865 By the final “Amen”, we express our “fiat” concerning the seven petitions: “So be it.”
[Editor’s Note: The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]
- “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
- “CM” – St. Cyril of Jerusalem, “Catecheses Mystagogicae [Catechesis of Mystagogy (Mysteries of the faith)]”
- “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.)