LESSON 36 —How To Live The Lord's Prayer
Read the following references to further clarify the central ideas of this lesson. Look in other places as well as these; this is not an exhaustive list of the resources needed to answer the questions.
Father Hardon’s Question and Answer Catechism
#1615-1629 (The Lord’s Prayer)
Revised Basic Course Manual
Pages 33-34 (The Ascension of Christ and His Glorified Existence)
Page 102, paragraph 6
Pages 207-211 (The Lord’s Prayer)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
#2759-2865 (The Lord’s Prayer)
Modern Catholic Dictionary Vocabulary –
Review the following terms in your Modern Catholic Dictionary reference book (or online version at TheRealPresence.org – go to the bottom of the page, click on “Dictionary”).
The Treasury of Catholic Wisdom
by Father John A. Hardon, S.J., Saint Teresa of Avila’s Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer, pp. 437-484.
The Real Presence website article.
Abridged article follows. Recommended reading for questions 28-11, 28-12, 28-13, 28-15, 28-16; 36-103.
“The Second Commandment and the Vows” by Father John A. Hardon, S.J.
Our first question therefore, what is a vow? A vow is a free, deliberate promise made to God to do something which is possible, good, and better, that is, more pleasing to God than its omission would be. A vow, properly speaking, is made only to God. A vow then is a promise made to God to do something better than its opposite or its omission. That word better is critical to the understanding of what a vow is.
Let’s explain a little more this something better. It need not be, objectively better. It is enough if considering all the circumstances, it is better for the person who is taking the vow. To illustrate, the married state is not better than celibacy or consecrated chastity, objectively. For the obvious reason that celibacy or consecrated chastity imply a greater sacrifice—that is, the sacrifice of marriage, of family and all the wonderful things that God promises those who enter the married state. Yet in any given case marriage can be better for a particular individual. And over the years of my priesthood I’ve told many people, look I think it is God’s will for you to marry. I don’t think I’ve ever told a person to bind him or herself under vow to get married. But I could.
A vow then is always a promise made to God to do something which is either objectively better in itself or at least subjectively better for the individual who makes the vow. The one vowing must realize that a special sin is committed by violating the vow. It is a sin against the virtue of religion to consciously and deliberately break a vow. The reason is that a vow is an act of the virtue of religion. This virtue is the virtue of justice towards God. He has a right to our total submission of will and our whole-hearted love. To break a vow is to fail in giving God what is His due.
Every vow is an oath which calls upon God to witness to the sincerity of the one making the vow. Moreover, every vow, by definition, is also a covenant, on several counts:
- It is a covenant because the nature of the vow is such as the Church approves in making a promise to God.
- It is a covenant because the one making the vow intends to bind himself before God to keep the vow.
- It is, finally, a covenant because God binds Himself to give all the supernatural graces necessary for us to remain faithful to the vow.
How are the vows to be observed? The vows are to be observed prayerfully, confidently and cheerfully. . . .Finally, those who undertake a vowed life should live this life cheerfully. Cheerfulness is the external witness of interior joy. I think I should repeat. “Cheerfulness is the external witness of interior joy.” Observing the vows is not easy. So what? But it should be enjoyable. “Come, come. You mean (you can’t mean) you mean I can be happy in doing what I don’t like? Well, that contradicts everything in Webster’s dictionary.” So much for words in Webster’s dictionary. Ah, there is happiness and THERE IS HAPPINESS. There is true joy and true joy is reserved only for those who sincerely strive to conform their wills to the will of God. And the key word is wills. My body may complain. Well, tell the body, “Keep complaining.” Emotions will be upset. Wake up, tell the emotions, “This is the will speaking I am in charge.”
Hence, those who live the vowed life are not only to be happy but to be cheerful in order to give evidence of their interior happiness. This cheerfulness is a powerful testimony to everyone who sees us that true joy comes from total self-sacrifice to Jesus Christ. Every day in my priesthood, every soul that God puts into my life keeps adding to the evidence, incontestable evidence, our happiness depends on the measure of our giving ourselves to God. And nobody but nobody either cheats or deceives anyone. Living then, a vowed life with cheerfulness provides, and I mean it, a foretaste of Heaven here on earth. God wants us to be happy. That’s why He gave us the Eight Beatitudes. But then you finish each Beatitude and you sigh, “Yes Lord, I want to be happy, but Lord, did you see the price tag?” He replies, “Yes. Not only did I see the price tag, I made the price tag. It’s high. And the price is self-sacrifice.” Copyright © 1999 Inter Mirifica
Petitions in The Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer is composed of an introductory clause and seven petitions. The first three petitions acknowledge God’s greatness and give Him praise. Only after glorifying God may we concern ourselves with our own needs. The last four petitions address our human needs.
Introductory Clause: Our Father, Who art in Heaven
First Petition: Hallowed be Thy Name
Second Petition: Thy Kingdom come
Third Petition: Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven
Fourth Petition: Give us this day our daily bread
Fifth Petition: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
Sixth Petition: Lead us not into temptation
Seventh Petition: Deliver us from evil
By using the words “Our Father” and “deliver us from evil” rather than “My Father” and “deliver me from evil,” Jesus emphasized the communal aspect of prayer. From the opening words, to the closing pleas, He stressed the importance of praying with and for others. As members of the Communion of Saints, we can be assured that our prayer is united with the prayer of the whole Church.
Our Father (English and Latin)
OUR FATHER, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and
Lead us not into temptation but
Deliver us from evil. Amen.
Pater noster (Latin)
PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis,
Sanctificetur nomen tuum.
Adveniat regnum tuum;
Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra.
Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie;
Et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
Et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
Sed libera nos a malo. Amen.