We say it at every Mass, it is one of the first prayers we teach to our children, it is true prayer, directly from the lips of Jesus; The Our Father. Isn’t it amazing that this prayer, the same one we pray today as people of God was gifted to humanity by Jesus some 2000+ years ago? The familiar words can sooth us when we are anxious and afraid, they can give us strength when we are tired and weary. This prayer has touched the heart and the soul of millions over the years as they petitioned God their Father in faith, assured that their prayers are heard. Have you ever known a traumatic time in your life when you and/or others simply began to pray the Our Father?
Or have you experienced a time when you didn’t know how to pray or what to ask for and the Our Father came from your lips or resonated in your heart? The Our Father is a powerful gift that holds the promise that God our Father is present to us, attentive to us and eager to hear from us. I have often sat with a family at the bedside of a loved one who was very near death. Often those near death can seem agitated or restless. I have witnessed the power of verbal recitation of the Our Father calm them and quiet them seeming to bring them peace. I have also experienced a number of times a dying person whom the family has reported hasn’t spoken a word in the past few days, surprise all present when they verbally pray the Our Father with us when we begin. I believe that to be the grace of God present. It seems one of the last memories to leave a person is that of prayer. That certainly speaks to the intimacy of prayer between us and our Father in heaven and that is extremely comforting to know. Continue to pray the Our Father often with and for your family. Continue to teach your children the gift of daily prayer, it is sure to be a life-long blessing. We all need to know there is a place we can go when we need someone to simply listen to us with unconditional love. The Our Father is a great way to begin our conversations with God, and then we can pour out our needs and gratitude. Let us all pay close attention to the words we are speaking as we pray the Our Father and let this prayer guide us and lead us into a deeper relationship with our loving an creative Father. In prayer and thanksgiving,
**Note: Recently, you may have heard that the Italian bishops have petitioned the Vatican to change the words of the Our Father; “and lead us not into temptation” to “and do not abandon us to temptation”. They examined the translations that were used over the years and believe the latter form to be more in line with the Gospel. Please know this decision does not impact us here in the United States. Could it in the future? Perhaps, but it also may never be the decision of our bishops. Let us pray that this change does not impact our desire to pray in the words our Savior taught us.
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC