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Reflections: Prayers & Dvtns. (Lord's Pryr.)

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Reflections: 

Prayers & Devotions:

The Lord's Prayer

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The Lord's Prayer (The "Our Father")

 

Category
Quotation

The Lord's Prayer (The "Our Father")

Also See: Catholic Prayer (Topic Page)

"If you run through the petitions of all holy prayers, I believe you will find nothing that is not summed up and contained in the Lord's Prayer." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"What can be a more spiritual prayer than the one that was given to us by Christ, who also gave us the Holy Spirit? What prayer to the Father can be more truthful than the one that was delivered to us by the Son who is Truth, from His own mouth?" (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

"There is no language so fit to lead us to the majesty of God as the language of the Lord's Prayer." (Pope Leo XIII, "Iucunda Semper Expectatione", 1894)

"The Lord's Prayer is most perfect, because, as [St.] Augustine says (ad Probam Ep. 130,12), 'if we pray rightly and fittingly, we can say nothing else but what is contained in this prayer of our Lord.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Our Lord instituted this prayer, not that we might use no other words when we pray, but that in our prayers we might have none but these things in view, no matter how we express them or think of them." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Amongst His other saving instructions and divine lessons, wherewith He counsels believers, He has set forth for us a form of prayer in few words, thus giving us confidence that that will be quickly granted, for which He would have us pray so shortly." (Early Gloss)

"Having named Him to whom prayer is made and where He dwells, let us now see what things they are for which we ought to pray. But the first of all the things that are prayed for is, Hallowed be Thy name, not implying that the name of God is not holy, but that it may be held sacred of men - that is, that God may be so known that nothing may be esteemed more holy." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"We do not say my Father, but our Father, neither do we say give me, but give us; and this is because the Teacher of unity did not wish prayer to be made privately, viz., that each should pray for himself alone; for He wished one to pray for all since He in his single person had borne all." (St. Cyprian, 3rd century A.D.)

"He who gave to us to live, taught us also to pray, to the end, that speaking to the Father in the prayer which the Son has taught, we may receive a readier hearing. It is praying like friends and familiars to offer up to God of His own. Let the Father recognize the Son's words when we offer up our prayer; and seeing we have Him when we sin for an Advocate with the Father, let us put forward the words of our Advocate, when as sinners we make petition for our offenses." (St. Cyprian)

"For there are some who, contrary to the command of Christ, reverse the order of this [Our Lord's] prayer. He who commands us to have recourse to Him in the day of tribulation, has also prescribed to us the order in which we should pray. It is His will that, before we pray to be delivered from evil, we ask that the name of God be sanctified, that His kingdom come, and so on through the other petitions, which are, as it were, so many steps by which we reach this last Petition. Yet there are those who, if their hand, their side, or their foot ache; if they suffer loss of property; if menaces or dangers from an enemy alarm them; if famine, war or pestilence afflict them, omit all the other Petitions of the Lord's Prayer and ask only to be delivered from these evils. This practice is at variance with the command of Christ the Lord: Seek first the kingdom of God. To pray, therefore, as we ought, we should have in view the greater glory of God, even when we ask deliverance from calamities, trials and dangers." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"For since prayer interprets our desires, as it were, before God, then alone is it right to ask for something in our prayers when it is right that we should desire it. Now in the Lord's Prayer not only do we ask for all that we may rightly desire, but also in the order wherein we ought to desire them, so that this prayer not only teaches us to ask, but also directs all our affections. Thus it is evident that the first thing to be the object of our desire is the end, and afterwards whatever is directed to the end." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"According to [St.] Augustine (Enchiridion 116), 'Luke included not seven but five petitions in the Lord's Prayer, for by omitting it, he shows that the third petition is a kind of repetition of the two that precede, and thus helps us to understand it'; because, to wit, the will of God tends chiefly to this - that we come to the knowledge of His holiness and to reign together with Him. Again the last petition mentioned by Matthew, 'Deliver us from evil,' is omitted by Luke, so that each one may know himself to be delivered from evil if he be not led into temptation." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"As [St.] Augustine says (De Sermone Domini in Monte ii,5), when we say, 'Hallowed be Thy name, we do not mean that God's name is not holy, but we ask that men may treat it as a holy thing,' and this pertains to the diffusion of God's glory among men. When we say, 'Thy kingdom come, we do not imply that God is not reigning now,' but 'we excite in ourselves the desire for that kingdom, that it may come to us, and that we may reign therein,' as Augustine says (ad Probam, Ep. 130,11). The words, 'Thy will be done rightly signify, May Thy commandments be obeyed on earth as in heaven, i.e. by men as well as by angels' (De Sermone Domini in Monte ii,6). Hence these three petitions will be perfectly fulfilled in the life to come; while the other four, according to Augustine (Enchiridion 115), belong to the needs of the present life" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Since in every entreaty we have first to propitiate the good favor of Him whom we entreat, and after that mention what we entreat for; and this we commonly do by saying something in praise of Him whom we entreat, and place it in the front of our petition; in this the Lord bids us say no more than only, Our Father who art in Heaven. Many things were said of them to the praise of God, yet do we never find it taught to the children of Israel to address God as 'Our Father'; He is rather set before them as a Lord over slaves. But of Christ's people the Apostle says, We have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father (Rom 8:15), and that not of our deserving, but of grace. This then we express in the prayer when we say, Father; which name also stirs up love. For what can be dearer than sons are to a father? And a suppliant spirit, in that men should say to God Our Father. And a certain presumption that we shall obtain; for what will He not give to His sons when they ask of Him, who has given them that first that they should be sons? Lastly, how great anxiety possesses his mind, that having called God his Father, he should not be unworthy of such a Father. By this the rich and the noble are admonished when they have become Christians not to be haughty towards the poor..., who like themselves may address God as Our Father; and they therefore cannot truly or piously say this unless they acknowledge such for brethren." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"From an evil servant you are made a good son. Boast not then of your working, but of the grace of Christ; for therein is no arrogance, but faith. To proclaim what you have received is not pride, but devotion. Therefore raise your eyes to your Father, who begot you by Baptism, redeemed you by His Son. Say Father as a son, but claim no especial favor to yourself. Of Christ alone is He the especial Father, of us the common Father. For Christ alone He begot, but us he created. And therefore according to Matthew when it is said, Our Father, it is added, which art in heaven, that is, in those heavens of which it was said, The heavens declare the glory of God. Heaven is where sin has ceased, and where there is no sting of death." (Pseudo Aug., as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church)

"And whatever other words we may use either introductory to quicken the affections, or in conclusion to add to them, we say nothing more than is contained in the Lord's Prayer if you pray rightly and connectedly. For he who says, Glorify yourself in all nations, as you are glorified among us, what else does he say than, Hallowed be your name? He who prays, Show your face and it shall be safe, what is it but to say, Let your kingdom come? To say, Direct my steps according to your word, what is it more than, Your will be done? To say, Give me neither poverty nor riches, what else is it than, Give us this day our daily bread? Lord, remember David and all his mercifulness! And, If I have returned evil for evil, what else but, Forgive us our debts even as we forgive our debtor? He who says, Remove far from me all greediness of belly, what else does he say, but Lead us not into temptation? He who says, Save me, O my God, from my enemies, what else does he say but Deliver us from evil? And if you thus go through all the words of the holy prayers, you will find nothing that is not contained in the Lord's Prayer. Whoever then speaks such words as have no relation to this evangelical prayer, prays carnally; and such prayer I know not why we should not pronounce unlawful, seeing the Lord instructs those who are born again only to pray spiritually. But whoso in prayer says, Lord, increase my riches add to my honors; and that from desire of such things not with a view to doing men service after God's will by such things; I think that he finds nothing in the Lord's Prayer on which he may build such petitions. Let such an one then be withheld by shame from praying for, if not from desire such things. But if he have shame at the desire, yet desire overcomes, he will do better to pray for deliverance from the evil of desire to Him to whom we say, Deliver us from evil." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: How to Pray | Jesus / Prayer | Catholic Basics

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