Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who art in heaven

Our Father,
who art in heaven...

We pray this prayer at least three times every day and find the words both comforting and challenging. Pope Benedict uncovers a whole new set of insights in what are among the best known verses in Scripture. He writes,

“that the words of the Our Father are signposts to interior prayer, they provide a basic direction for our being, and they aim to configure us to the image of the Son. The meaning of the Our Father goes much further than the mere provision of a prayer text. It aims to form our being, to train us in the inner attitude of Jesus (cf. Phil 2:5)

Philippians 2:5 states: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus”

The Pope goes on to state that we must listen to Jesus’ words and that we must also bear in mind that the Our Father originates in his own praying – the Son’s dialogue with the Father.

“This means that it reaches down into depths far beyond the words. It embraces the whole compass of man’s being in all ages."

He also quotes German author and poet Reinhold Schneider, who offers an even more arresting insight:  "The Our Father begins with a great consolation: we are allowed to say ‘Father’. This one word contains the whole history of redemption. We are allowed to say ‘Father,’ because the Son was our brother and has revealed the Father to us; because, thanks to what Christ has done, we have once more become children of God.