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Praying the Our Father

The Lord’s prayer

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“Lord, teach us to pray …He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father…”

The Our Father is the most known Christian prayer. It is the prayer that Jesus handed down to us through the Church and which the Apostles imparted. Jesus taught the Apostles the simplest and at the same time the most intimate way of addressing God, calling Him tenderly Abba, Father. We find this Prayer in the Gospel according to Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 6: 9-13) and in the Gospel according to St. Luke, while Jesus was praying in a certain  place.

Pope Francis, in a dialogue that became a book, enlightened, verse by verse, the prayer of the Our Father. We will consider this book, from time to time, with Don Marco Pozza, chaplain of the "Due Palazzi" prison in Padua. The Pope, starting from the word Father, exhorts us Christians to call God "Dad" and to have a "child’s heart ".

"To pray well, you must get to have a child’s heart" (catechesis January 16, 2019 and the courage to believe that God is truly the Father who embraces , accompanies, responds to the needs of His child, because God has an infinite tenderness.

We should have the courage to believe that God is above all the Father who gave life to me, to you, to every single creature and we can not pray without calling Him "Father". Prayer to God Almighty creates distances and there is the risk of not perceiving the intimacy unites father and son

You must pray to the Father! - Pope Francis insists - He has generated us and knows the life of each one of us, our whole life, what is good and what is not so good.

This is why we should not be afraid to turn to God, to be ashamed of presenting our miseries to Him. He knows everything about us and waits patiently for our return. God is the merciful Father who celebrates his son's return and, unlike what we might expect, He does not bother him with questions or reproaches, but embraces him, because he already saw repentance in his heart (cf Lc 15,22-24) .

God does not reserve this attitude only to some people, to a few, but to anyone, to all those who are enlightened by the Holy Spirit and recognize Him as Father and recognize themselves as brothers of others. It is the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus, who teaches to call God our Father, to call our neighbor brother, and, therefore to turn to God in the words with which Jesus first wanted to pray: Our Father.

Jesus did not simply give us a formula with which to turn to God- Pope Francis highlights in  the book- but a prayer with which He invites us to recognize  ourselves as children of God and to live as His children and brothers among us. The Pope shows us what it means to be loved by the Father and reveals to us that the Father desires to pour upon us the same love that He has for his Son from eternity.

Jesus Himself reveals to Luisa the reason for this prayer, in a passage from 1923. In order to dispose souls to live in the Divine Will, and to make man return to the path of his origin, Jesus Himself wanted to pray as the first, saying: ‘Our Father, who art in Heaven’. He did not say ‘My Father’, but Jesus called God Father of the whole human family, so as to engage Him in that which Jesus Himself was going to add: May all hallow God’s Name, so that the Kingdom of His Will may come. This was the purpose of Creation, and Jesus asked the Father that it be fulfilled. Because Jesus Himself prayed, the Father surrendered to His supplications, and Jesus formed the seed of a good so great; and so that this seed might be known, Jesus taught His prayer to the Apostles, and they transmitted it to the whole Church.

So,  the Church prays and repeats Jesus’ very prayer many times, and disposes Herself to receive that creatures would recognize and love our Celestial Father as Our Father, in such a way as to deserve to be loved as children and receive the great good of the Divine Will.

All, learned and ignorant people, little and great, priests and seculars, with the Church as faithful executor of Christ, pray that the Kingdom of the Divine Will may come and every time the creature recites the ‘Our Father’, she acquires a sort of right to enter into this Kingdom – first, because it is the prayer taught by Jesus; second, because the love of the Divinity toward the creatures is great. Thus, let us recognize ourselves as children more and more loved and able to love when we say "Our Father".

We love You, Our Father,

You who are in the Heavens,

We love you, our Father

  You, who are in our hearts.



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