St. Wulfric of Haselbury
Feast of St. Wulfric of Haselbury

Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2855-2856, 2865 - The Final Doxology

clock September 25, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the final doxology of the Lord’s Prayer and the meaning of the word, “Amen”. Supporting material comes from Tertullian’s “On Prayer”. This is the final part in the Catechism Study Series. I hope you have been able to follow along and keep up with the daily readings. If not, you will notice that we concluded in slightly less than a year, giving you a few extra days to catch up and finish within a year.

Article 4

THE FINAL DOXOLOGY

2855 The final doxology, "For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever," takes up again, by inclusion, the first three petitions to our Father: the glorification of his name, the coming of his reign, and the power of his saving will. But these prayers are now proclaimed as adoration and thanksgiving, as in the liturgy of heaven.176 The ruler of this world has mendaciously attributed to himself the three titles of kingship, power, and glory.177 Christ, the Lord, restores them to his Father and our Father, until he hands over the kingdom to him when the mystery of salvation will be brought to its completion and God will be all in all.178

2856 "Then, after the prayer is over you say 'Amen,' which means 'So be it,' thus ratifying with our 'Amen' what is contained in the prayer that God has taught us."179

IN BRIEF

2865 By the final "Amen," we express our "fiat" concerning the seven petitions: "So be it".

In “On Prayer”, Tertullian summarizes the Lord’s Prayer.

Chapter 9. Recapitulation.

In summaries of so few words, how many utterances of the prophets, the Gospels, the apostles— how many discourses, examples, parables of the Lord, are touched on! How many duties are simultaneously discharged! The honour of God in the Father; the testimony of faith in the Name; the offering of obedience in the Will; the commemoration of hope in the Kingdom; the petition for life in the Bread; the full acknowledgment of debts in the prayer for their Forgiveness; the anxious dread of temptation in the request for Protection. What wonder? God alone could teach how he wished Himself prayed to. The religious rite of prayer therefore, ordained by Himself, and animated, even at the moment when it was issuing out of the Divine mouth, by His own Spirit, ascends, by its own prerogative, into heaven, commending to the Father what the Son has taught.

Footnotes

176 Cf. ⇒ Rev 1:6; ⇒ 4:11; ⇒ 5:13.
177 Cf. ⇒ Lk 4:5-6.
178 ⇒ 1 Cor 15:24-28.
179 St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. myst. 5,18: PG 33, 1124; cf. Cf. ⇒ Lk 1:38.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2850-2854, 2864 – But Deliver Us from Evil

clock September 24, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the final petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “But deliver us from evil.” Supporting material comes from Tertullian’s “On Prayer”.

VII "BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL"

2850 The last petition to our Father is also included in Jesus' prayer: "I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one."163 It touches each of us personally, but it is always "we" who pray, in communion with the whole Church, for the deliverance of the whole human family. The Lord's Prayer continually opens us to the range of God's economy of salvation. Our interdependence in the drama of sin and death is turned into solidarity in the Body of Christ, the "communion of saints."164

2851 In this petition, evil is not an abstraction, but refers to a person, Satan, the Evil One, the angel who opposes God. The devil (dia-bolos) is the one who "throws himself across" God's plan and his work of salvation accomplished in Christ.

2852 "A murderer from the beginning, . . . a liar and the father of lies," Satan is "the deceiver of the whole world."165 Through him sin and death entered the world and by his definitive defeat all creation will be "freed from the corruption of sin and death."166 Now "we know that anyone born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.
We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one."167

The Lord who has taken away your sin and pardoned your faults also protects you and keeps you from the wiles of your adversary the devil, so that the enemy, who is accustomed to leading into sin, may not surprise you. One who entrusts himself to God does not dread the devil. "If God is for us, who is against us?"168

2853 Victory over the "prince of this world"169 was won once for all at the Hour when Jesus freely gave himself up to death to give us his life. This is the judgment of this world, and the prince of this world is "cast out."170 "He pursued the woman"171 but had no hold on her: the new Eve, "full of grace" of the Holy Spirit, is preserved from sin and the corruption of death (the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God, Mary, ever virgin). "Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring."172 Therefore the Spirit and the Church pray: "Come, Lord Jesus,"173 since his coming will deliver us from the Evil One.

2854 When we ask to be delivered from the Evil One, we pray as well to be freed from all evils, present, past, and future, of which he is the author or instigator. In this final petition, the Church brings before the Father all the distress of the world. Along with deliverance from the evils that overwhelm humanity, she implores the precious gift of peace and the grace of perseverance in expectation of Christ's return By praying in this way, she anticipates in humility of faith the gathering together of everyone and everything in him who has "the keys of Death and Hades," who "is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."174

Deliver us, Lord, we beseech you, from every evil and grant us peace in our day, so that aided by your mercy we might be ever free from sin and protected from all anxiety, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.175

IN BRIEF

2864 In the last petition, "but deliver us from evil," Christians pray to God with the Church to show forth the victory, already won by Christ, over the "ruler of this world," Satan, the angel personally opposed to God and to his plan of salvation.

Tertullian discusses the final petition of the Lord’s Prayer in “On Prayer”.

Chapter 8. The Seventh or Final Clause

For the completeness of so brief a prayer He added— in order that we should supplicate not touching the remitting merely, but touching the entire averting, of acts of guilt— Lead us not into temptation: that is, suffer us not to be led into it, by him (of course) who tempts; but far be the thought that the Lord should seem to tempt, as if He either were ignorant of the faith of any, or else were eager to overthrow it. Infirmity and malice are characteristics of the devil. For God had commanded even Abraham to make a sacrifice of his son, for the sake not of tempting, but proving, his faith; in order through him to make an example for that precept of His, whereby He was, by and by, to enjoin that he should hold no pledges of affection dearer than God. He Himself, when tempted by the devil, demonstrated who it is that presides over and is the originator of temptation. This passage He confirms by subsequent ones, saying, Pray that you be not tempted; yet they were tempted, (as they showed) by deserting their Lord, because they had given way rather to sleep than prayer. The final clause, therefore, is consonant, and interprets the sense of Lead us not into temptation; for this sense is, But convey us away from the Evil One.”

Footnotes

163 ⇒ Jn 17:15.
164 Cf. RP 16.
165 ⇒ Jn 8:44; ⇒ Rev 12:9.
166 Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer IV, 125.
167 ⇒ 1 Jn 5:18-19.
168 St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 5, 4, 30: PL 16, 454; cf. ⇒ Rom 8:31.
169 ⇒ Jn 14:30.
170 ⇒ Jn 12:31; ⇒ Rev 12:10.
171 ⇒ Rev 12:13-16.
172 ⇒ Rev 12:17.
173 ⇒ Rev 22:17,20.
174 ⇒ Rev 1:8, ⇒ 18; cf. ⇒ Rev 1:4; ⇒ Eph 1:10.
175 Roman Missal, Embolism after the Lord's Prayer, 126: Libera nos,quaesumus, Domine, ab omnibus malis, da propitius pacem in diebus nostris, ut, ope misericordiae tuae adiuti, et a peccato simus semper liberi, et ab omni perturbatione securi: expectantes beatam spem et adventum Salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2807-2815, 2858 – Hallowed be Thy Name

clock September 18, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the second petition in the Lord’s Prayer, “Hallowed be Thy Name”. Supporting material comes from “On Prayer” by Tertullian.

I. "Hallowed be Thy Name"

2807 The term "to hallow" is to be understood here not primarily in its causative sense (only God hallows, makes holy), but above all in an evaluative sense: to recognize as holy, to treat in a holy way. And so, in adoration, this invocation is sometimes understood as praise and thanksgiving.66 But this petition is here taught to us by Jesus as an optative: a petition, a desire, and an expectation in which God and man are involved. Beginning with this first petition to our Father, we are immersed in the innermost mystery of his Godhead and the drama of the salvation of our humanity. Asking the Father that his name be made holy draws us into his plan of loving kindness for the fullness of time, "according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ," that we might "be holy and blameless before him in love."67

2808 In the decisive moments of his economy God reveals his name, but he does so by accomplishing his work. This work, then, is realized for us and in us only if his name is hallowed by us and in us.

2809 The holiness of God is the inaccessible center of his eternal mystery. What is revealed of it in creation and history, Scripture calls "glory," the radiance of his majesty.68 In making man in his image and likeness, God "crowned him with glory and honor," but by sinning, man fell "short of the glory of God."69 From that time on, God was to manifest his holiness by revealing and giving his name, in order to restore man to the image of his Creator.70

2810 In the promise to Abraham and the oath that accompanied it,71 God commits himself but without disclosing his name. He begins to reveal it to Moses and makes it known clearly before the eyes of the whole people when he saves them from the Egyptians: "he has triumphed gloriously."72 From the covenant of Sinai onwards, this people is "his own" and it is to be a "holy (or "consecrated": the same word is used for both in Hebrew) nation,"73 because the name of God dwells in it.

2811 In spite of the holy Law that again and again their Holy God gives them - "You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy" - and although the Lord shows patience for the sake of his name, the people turn away from the Holy One of Israel and profane his name among the nations.74 For this reason the just ones of the old covenant, the poor survivors returned from exile, and the prophets burned with passion for the name.

2812 Finally, in Jesus the name of the Holy God is revealed and given to us, in the flesh, as Savior, revealed by what he is, by his word, and by his sacrifice.75 This is the heart of his priestly prayer: "Holy Father . . . for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth."76 Because he "sanctifies" his own name, Jesus reveals to us the name of the Father.77 At the end of Christ's Passover, the Father gives him the name that is above all names: "Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."78

2813 In the waters of Baptism, we have been "washed . . . sanctified . . . justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."79 Our Father calls us to holiness in the whole of our life, and since "he is the source of (our) life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and… sanctification,"80 both his glory and our life depend on the hallowing of his name in us and by us. Such is the urgency of our first petition.

By whom is God hallowed, since he is the one who hallows? But since he said, "You shall be holy to me; for I the LORD am holy," we seek and ask that we who were sanctified in Baptism may persevere in what we have begun to be. And we ask this daily, for we need sanctification daily, so that we who fail daily may cleanse away our sins by being sanctified continually.... We pray that this sanctification may remain in us.81

2814 The sanctification of his name among the nations depends inseparably on our life and our prayer:

We ask God to hallow his name, which by its own holiness saves and makes holy all creation .... It is this name that gives salvation to a lost world. But we ask that this name of God should be hallowed in us through our actions. For God's name is blessed when we live well, but is blasphemed when we live wickedly. As the Apostle says: "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." We ask then that, just as the name of God is holy, so we may obtain his holiness in our souls.82
When we say "hallowed be thy name," we ask that it should be hallowed in us, who are in him; but also in others whom God's grace still awaits, that we may obey the precept that obliges us to pray for everyone, even our enemies. That is why we do not say expressly "hallowed be thy name 'in us,"' for we ask that it be so in all men.83

2815 This petition embodies all the others. Like the six petitions that follow, it is fulfilled by the prayer of Christ. Prayer to our Father is our prayer, if it is prayed in the name of Jesus.84 In his priestly prayer, Jesus asks: "Holy Father, protect in your name those whom you have given me."85

IN BRIEF

2858 By asking "hallowed be thy name" we enter into God's plan, the sanctification of his name - revealed first to Moses and then in Jesus - by us and in us, in every nation and in each man.

Tertullian discusses the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer in “On Prayer”.

Chapter 3. The Second Clause

The name of God the Father had been published to none. Even Moses, who had interrogated Him on that very point, had heard a different name. Exodus 3:13-16 To us it has been revealed in the Son, for the Son is now the Father's new name. I have come, says He, in the Father's name; John 5:43 and again, Father, glorify Your name; John 12:28 and more openly, I have manifested Your name to men. John 17:6 That name, therefore, we pray may be hallowed. Not that it is becoming for men to wish God well, as if there were any other by whom He may be wished well, or as if He would suffer unless we do so wish. Plainly, it is universally becoming for God to be blessed in every place and time, on account of the memory of His benefits ever due from every man. But this petition also serves the turn of a blessing. Otherwise, when is the name of God not holy, and hallowed through Himself, seeing that of Himself He sanctifies all others— He to whom that surrounding circle of angels cease not to say, Holy, holy, holy? In like wise, therefore, we too, candidates for angelhood, if we succeed in deserving it, begin even here on earth to learn by heart that strain hereafter to be raised unto God, and the function of future glory. So far, for the glory of God. On the other hand, for our own petition, when we say, Hallowed be Your name, we pray this; that it may be hallowed in us who are in Him, as well in all others for whom the grace of God is still waiting; Isaiah 30:18 that we may obey this precept, too, in praying for all, 1 Timothy 2:1 even for our personal enemies. Matthew 5:44 And therefore with suspended utterance, not saying, Hallowed be it in us, we say— in all.

Footnotes

66 Cf. ⇒ Ps 111:9; ⇒ Lk 1:49.
67 ⇒ Eph 1:9, 4.
68 Cf. ⇒ Ps 8; ⇒ Isa 6:3.
69 ⇒ Ps 8:5; ⇒ Rom 3:23; cf. ⇒ Gen 1:26.
70 ⇒ Col 3:10.
71 Cf. ⇒ Heb 6:13.
72 ⇒ Ex 15:1 cf. ⇒ 3:14.
73 Cf. ⇒ Ex 19:5-6.
74 ⇒ Ezek 20:9, ⇒ 14, ⇒ 22, ⇒ 39; cf. ⇒ Lev 19:2.
75 Cf. ⇒ Mt 1:21; ⇒ Lk 1:31, ⇒ Jn 8:28; ⇒ 17:8; ⇒ 17:17-19.
76 ⇒ Jn 17:11, ⇒ 19.
77 Cf. ⇒ Ezek 20:39; ⇒ 36:20-21; ⇒ Jn 17:6.
78 ⇒ Phil 2:9-11.
79 ⇒ 2 Cor 6:11.
80 ⇒ 1 Cor 1:30; cf. ⇒ 1 Thess 4:7.
81 St. Cyprian De Dom. orat. 12: PL 4, 527A; ⇒ Lev 20:26.
82 St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermo 71, 4: PL 52:402A; cf. ⇒ Rom 2:24; ⇒ Ezek 36:20-22.
83 Tertullian, De orat. 3: PL 1:1157A.
84 Cf. ⇒ Jn 14:13; ⇒ 15:16; ⇒ 16:24, ⇒ 26.
85 ⇒ Jn 17:11.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2777-2785, 2791-2801 – Our Father Who Art in Heaven

clock September 14, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the opening clause of the Lord’s Prayer. Supporting material comes from “On Prayer” by Tertullian.

Article 2

"OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN"

I. "We Dare To Say"

2777 In the Roman liturgy, the Eucharistic assembly is invited to pray to our heavenly Father with filial boldness; the Eastern liturgies develop and use similar expressions: "dare in all confidence," "make us worthy of...." From the burning bush Moses heard a voice saying to him, "Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."26 Only Jesus could cross that threshold of the divine holiness, for "when he had made purification for sins," he brought us into the Father's presence: "Here am I, and the children God has given me."27

Our awareness of our status as slaves would make us sink into the ground and our earthly condition would dissolve into dust, if the authority of our Father himself and the Spirit of his Son had not impelled us to this cry . . . 'Abba, Father!' . . . When would a mortal dare call God 'Father,' if man's innermost being were not animated by power from on high?"28

2778 This power of the Spirit who introduces us to the Lord's Prayer is expressed in the liturgies of East and of West by the beautiful, characteristically Christian expression: parrhesia, straightforward simplicity, filial trust, joyous assurance, humble boldness, the certainty of being loved.29

II. Abba - "Father!"

2779 Before we make our own this first exclamation of the Lord's Prayer, we must humbly cleanse our hearts of certain false images drawn "from this world." Humility makes us recognize that "no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him," that is, "to little children."30 The purification of our hearts has to do with paternal or maternal images, stemming from our personal and cultural history, and influencing our relationship with God. God our Father transcends the categories of the created world. To impose our own ideas in this area "upon him" would be to fabricate idols to adore or pull down. To pray to the Father is to enter into his mystery as he is and as the Son has revealed him to us.

The expression God the Father had never been revealed to anyone. When Moses himself asked God who he was, he heard another name. The Father's name has been revealed to us in the Son, for the name "Son" implies the new name "Father."31

2780 We can invoke God as "Father" because he is revealed to us by his Son become man and because his Spirit makes him known to us. the personal relation of the Son to the Father is something that man cannot conceive of nor the angelic powers even dimly see: and yet, the Spirit of the Son grants a participation in that very relation to us who believe that Jesus is the Christ and that we are born of God.32

2781 When we pray to the Father, we are in communion with him and with his Son, Jesus Christ.33 Then we know and recognize him with an ever new sense of wonder. The first phrase of the Our Father is a blessing of adoration before it is a supplication. For it is the glory of God that we should recognize him as "Father," the true God. We give him thanks for having revealed his name to us, for the gift of believing in it, and for the indwelling of his Presence in us.

2782 We can adore the Father because he has caused us to be reborn to his life by adopting us as his children in his only Son: by Baptism, he incorporates us into the Body of his Christ; through the anointing of his Spirit who flows from the head to the members, he makes us other "Christs."

God, indeed, who has predestined us to adoption as his sons, has conformed us to the glorious Body of Christ. So then you who have become sharers in Christ are appropriately called "Christs."34
The new man, reborn and restored to his God by grace, says first of all, "Father!" because he has now begun to be a son.35

2783 Thus the Lord's Prayer reveals us to ourselves at the same time that it reveals the Father to us.36

O man, you did not dare to raise your face to heaven, you lowered your eyes to the earth, and suddenly you have received the grace of Christ all your sins have been forgiven. From being a wicked servant you have become a good son.... Then raise your eyes to the Father who has begotten you through Baptism, to the Father who has redeemed you through his Son, and say: "Our Father.... " But do not claim any privilege. He is the Father in a special way only of Christ, but he is the common Father of us all, because while he has begotten only Christ, he has created us. Then also say by his grace, "Our Father," so that you may merit being his son.37

2784 The free gift of adoption requires on our part continual conversion and new life. Praying to our Father should develop in us two fundamental dispositions:
First, the desire to become like him: though created in his image, we are restored to his likeness by grace; and we must respond to this grace.

We must remember . . . and know that when we call God "our Father" we ought to behave as sons of God.38
You cannot call the God of all kindness your Father if you preserve a cruel and inhuman heart; for in this case you no longer have in you the marks of the heavenly Father's kindness.39
We must contemplate the beauty of the Father without ceasing and adorn our own souls accordingly.40

2785 Second, a humble and trusting heart that enables us "to turn and become like children":41 for it is to "little children" that the Father is revealed.42

[The prayer is accomplished] by the contemplation of God alone, and by the warmth of love, through which the soul, molded and directed to love him, speaks very familiarly to God as to its own Father with special devotion.43
Our Father: at this name love is aroused in us . . . and the confidence of obtaining what we are about to ask.... What would he not give to his children who ask, since he has already granted them the gift of being his children?44

IN BRIEF

2797 Simple and faithful trust, humble and joyous assurance are the proper dispositions for one who prays the Our Father.

2798 We can invoke God as "Father" because the Son of God made man has revealed him to us. In this Son, through Baptism, we are incorporated and adopted as sons of God.

2799 The Lord's Prayer brings us into communion with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. At the same time it reveals us to ourselves (cf GS 22 # 1).

2800 Praying to our Father should develop in us the will to become like him and foster in us a humble and trusting heart.

2801 When we say "Our" Father, we are invoking the new covenant in Jesus Christ, communion with the Holy Trinity, and the divine love which spreads through the Church to encompass the world.

In “On Prayer”, Tertullian discusses the first clause of the Lord’s Prayer.

Chapter 2. The First Clause

The prayer begins with a testimony to God, and with the reward of faith, when we say, Our Father who art in the heavens; for (in so saying), we at once pray to God, and commend faith, whose reward this appellation is. It is written, To them who believed on Him He gave power to be called sons of God. John 1:12 However, our Lord very frequently proclaimed God as a Father to us; nay, even gave a precept that we call no one on earth father, but the Father whom we have in the heavens: Matthew 23:9 and so, in thus praying, we are likewise obeying the precept. Happy they who recognize their Father! This is the reproach that is brought against Israel, to which the Spirit attests heaven and earth, saying, I have begotten sons, and they have not recognized me. Isaiah 1:2 Moreover, in saying Father, we also call Him God. That appellation is one both of filial duty and of power. Again, in the Father the Son is invoked; for I, says He, and the Father are One. John 10:30 Nor is even our mother the Church passed by, if, that is, in the Father and the Son is recognized the mother, from whom arises the name both of Father and of Son. In one general term, then, or word, we both honour God, together with His own, and are mindful of the precept, and set a mark on such as have forgotten their Father.

Footnotes

26 ⇒ Ex 3:5.
27 ⇒ Heb 1:3; ⇒ 2:13.
28 St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermo 71, 3: PL 52, 401 CD; cf. ⇒ Gal 4:6
29 Cf. ⇒ Eph 3:12; ⇒ Heb 3:6; ⇒ 4:16; ⇒ 10:19; ⇒ 1 Jn 2:28; ⇒ 3:21; ⇒ 5:14.
30 ⇒ Mt 11:25-27.
31 Tertullian De orat. 3: PL 1, 1155.
32 Cf. ⇒ Jn 1:1; ⇒ 1 Jn 5:1[ETML:C/].
33 Cf. ⇒ 1 Jn 1:3.
34 St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. myst. 3, 1: PG 33, 1088A.
35 St. Cyprian, De Dom. orat. 9: PL 4, 525A.
36 Cf. GS 22 # 1.
37 St. Ambrose De Sacr. 5, 4, 19: PL 16:450-451.
38 St. Cyprian, De Dom. orat. 11 PL 4:526B.
39 St. John Chrysostom, De orat Dom. 3: PG 51, 44.
40 St. Gregory of Nyssa, De orat. Dom. 2: PG 44, 1148B.
41 ⇒ Mt 18:3.
42 Cf. ⇒ Mt 11:25.
43 St. John Cassian, Coll. 9, 18 PL 49, 788c.
44 St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. in monte 2, 4, 16: PL 34, 1276.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2759-2764, 2773-2774 – The Lord’s Prayer

clock September 12, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections begin the discussion on the Lord’s Prayer. Supporting material comes from Tertullian’s “On Prayer”.

SECTION TWO

THE LORD'S PRAYER

I. "OUR FATHER!"

2759 Jesus "was praying at a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.'"1 In response to this request the Lord entrusts to his disciples and to his Church the fundamental Christian prayer. St. Luke presents a brief text of five petitions,2 while St. Matthew gives a more developed version of seven petitions.3 The liturgical tradition of the Church has retained St. Matthew's text:

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.

2760 Very early on, liturgical usage concluded the Lord's Prayer with a doxology. In the Didache, we find, "For yours are the power and the glory for ever."4 The Apostolic Constitutions add to the beginning: "the kingdom," and this is the formula retained to our day in ecumenical prayer.5
The Byzantine tradition adds after "the glory" the words "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." the Roman Missal develops the last petition in the explicit perspective of "awaiting our blessed hope" and of the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.6 Then comes the assembly's acclamation or the repetition of the doxology from the Apostolic Constitutions.

Article 1

"THE SUMMARY OF THE WHOLE GOSPEL"

2761 The Lord's Prayer "is truly the summary of the whole gospel."7 "Since the Lord . . . after handing over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, 'Ask and you will receive,' and since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer [the Lord's Prayer] is said first, as the foundation of further desires."8

I. At the Center of the Scriptures

2762 After showing how the psalms are the principal food of Christian prayer and flow together in the petitions of the Our Father, St. Augustine concludes:

Run through all the words of the holy prayers [in Scripture], and I do not think that you will find anything in them that is not contained and included in the Lord's Prayer.9

2763 All the Scriptures - the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms - are fulfilled in Christ.10 The Gospel is this "Good News." Its first proclamation is summarized by St. Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount;11 The prayer to our Father is at the center of this proclamation. It is in this context that each petition bequeathed to us by the Lord is illuminated:

The Lord's Prayer is the most perfect of prayers.... In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.12

2764 The Sermon on the Mount is teaching for life, the Our Father is a prayer; but in both the one and the other the Spirit of the Lord gives new form to our desires, those inner movements that animate our lives. Jesus teaches us this new life by his words; he teaches us to ask for it by our prayer. The rightness of our life in him will depend on the rightness of our prayer.

IN BRIEF

2773 In response to his disciples' request "Lord, teach us to pray" (⇒ Lk 11:1), Jesus entrusts them with the fundamental Christian prayer, the Our Father.

2774 "The Lord's Prayer is truly the summary of the whole gospel,"24 The "most perfect of prayers."25 It is at the center of the Scriptures.

In “On Prayer”, Tertullian discusses the Lord’s Prayer as a summary of the whole Gospel and the perfect example of prayer.

Chapter 1. General Introduction.

The Spirit of God, and the Word of God, and the Reason of God— Word of Reason, and Reason and Spirit of Word— Jesus Christ our Lord, namely, who is both the one and the other, — has determined for us, the disciples of the New Testament, a new form of prayer; for in this particular also it was needful that new wine should be laid up in new skins, and a new breadth be sewn to a new garment. Besides, whatever had been in bygone days, has either been quite changed, as circumcision; or else supplemented, as the rest of the Law; or else fulfilled, as Prophecy; or else perfected, as faith itself. For the new grace of God has renewed all things from carnal unto spiritual, by superinducing the Gospel, the obliterator of the whole ancient bygone system; in which our Lord Jesus Christ has been approved as the Spirit of God, and the Word of God, and the Reason of God: the Spirit, by which He was mighty; the Word, by which He taught; the Reason, by which He came. So the prayer composed by Christ has been composed of three parts. In speech, by which prayer is enunciated, in spirit, by which alone it prevails, even John had taught his disciples to pray, but all John's doings were laid as groundwork for Christ, until, when He had increased— just as the same John used to fore-announce that it was needful that He should increase and himself decrease John 3:30 — the whole work of the forerunner passed over, together with his spirit itself, unto the Lord. Therefore, after what form of words John taught to pray is not extant, because earthly things have given place to heavenly. He who is from the earth, says John, speaks earthly things; and He who is here from the heavens speaks those things which He has seen. John 3:31-32 And what is the Lord Christ's— as this method of praying is— that is not heavenly? And so, blessed brethren, let us consider His heavenly wisdom: first, touching the precept of praying secretly, whereby He exacted man's faith, that he should be confident that the sight and hearing of Almighty God are present beneath roofs, and extend even into the secret place; and required modesty in faith, that it should offer its religious homage to Him alone, whom it believed to see and to hear everywhere. Further, since wisdom succeeded in the following precept, let it in like manner appertain unto faith, and the modesty of faith, that we think not that the Lord must be approached with a train of words, who, we are certain, takes unsolicited foresight for His own. And yet that very brevity— and let this make for the third grade of wisdom— is supported on the substance of a great and blessed interpretation, and is as diffuse in meaning as it is compressed in words. For it has embraced not only the special duties of prayer, be it veneration of God or petition for man, but almost every discourse of the Lord, every record of His Discipline; so that, in fact, in the Prayer is comprised an epitome of the whole Gospel.

Footnotes

1 ⇒ Lk 11:1.
2 Cf. ⇒ Lk 11:2-4.
3 Cf. ⇒ Mt 6:9-13.
4 Didache 8, 2: SCh 248, 174.
5 Apostolic Constitutions, 7, 24, 1: PG 1,1016.
6 ⇒ Titus 2:13; cf. Roman Missal 22, Embolism after the Lord's Prayer.
7 Tertullian, De orat. 1: PL 1, 1155.
8 Tertullian, De orat. 10: PL 1, 1165; cf. ⇒ Lk 11:9.
9 St. Augustine, Ep. 130, 12, 22: PL 33, 503.
10 Cf. ⇒ Lk 24:44.
11 Cf. ⇒ Mt 5- 7.
12 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 83, 9.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2607-2615, 2621 – Jesus Teaches Us how to Pray

clock August 24, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the instructive prayer that Jesus gives us. Supporting material comes from Tertullian’s “On Prayer”.

Jesus teaches us how to pray

2607 When Jesus prays he is already teaching us how to pray. His prayer to his Father is the theological path (the path of faith, hope, and charity) of our prayer to God. But the Gospel also gives us Jesus' explicit teaching on prayer. Like a wise teacher he takes hold of us where we are and leads us progressively toward the Father. Addressing the crowds following him, Jesus builds on what they already know of prayer from the Old Covenant and opens to them the newness of the coming Kingdom. Then he reveals this newness to them in parables. Finally, he will speak openly of the Father and the Holy Spirit to his disciples who will be the teachers of prayer in his Church.

2608 From the Sermon on the Mount onwards, Jesus insists on conversion of heart: reconciliation with one's brother before presenting an offering on the altar, love of enemies, and prayer for persecutors, prayer to the Father in secret, not heaping up empty phrases, prayerful forgiveness from the depths of the heart, purity of heart, and seeking the Kingdom before all else.64 This filial conversion is entirely directed to the Father.

2609 Once committed to conversion, the heart learns to pray in faith. Faith is a filial adherence to God beyond what we feel and understand. It is possible because the beloved Son gives us access to the Father. He can ask us to "seek" and to "knock," since he himself is the door and the way.65

2610 Just as Jesus prays to the Father and gives thanks before receiving his gifts, so he teaches us filial boldness: "Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will."66 Such is the power of prayer and of faith that does not doubt: "all things are possible to him who believes."67 Jesus is as saddened by the "lack of faith" of his own neighbors and the "little faith" of his own disciples68 as he is struck with admiration at the great faith of the Roman centurion and the Canaanite woman.69

2611 The prayer of faith consists not only in saying "Lord, Lord," but in disposing the heart to do the will of the Father.70 Jesus calls his disciples to bring into their prayer this concern for cooperating with the divine plan.71

2612 In Jesus "the Kingdom of God is at hand."72 He calls his hearers to conversion and faith, but also to watchfulness. In prayer the disciple keeps watch, attentive to Him Who Is and Him Who Comes, in memory of his first coming in the lowliness of the flesh, and in the hope of his second coming in glory.73 In communion with their Master, the disciples' prayer is a battle; only by keeping watch in prayer can one avoid falling into temptation.74

2613 Three principal parables on prayer are transmitted to us by St. Luke:
- The first, "the importunate friend,"75 invites us to urgent prayer: "Knock, and it will be opened to you." To the one who prays like this, the heavenly Father will "give whatever he needs," and above all the Holy Spirit who contains all gifts.
- The second, "the importunate widow,"76 is centered on one of the qualities of prayer: it is necessary to pray always without ceasing and with the patience of faith. "and yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
- The third parable, "the Pharisee and the tax collector,"77 concerns the humility of the heart that prays. "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" the Church continues to make this prayer its own: Kyrie eleison!

2614 When Jesus openly entrusts to his disciples the mystery of prayer to the Father, he reveals to them what their prayer and ours must be, once he has returned to the Father in his glorified humanity. What is new is to "ask in his name."78 Faith in the Son introduces the disciples into the knowledge of the Father, because Jesus is "the way, and the truth, and the life."79 Faith bears its fruit in love: it means keeping the word and the commandments of Jesus, it means abiding with him in the Father who, in him, so loves us that he abides with us. In this new covenant the certitude that our petitions will be heard is founded on the prayer of Jesus.80

2615 Even more, what the Father gives us when our prayer is united with that of Jesus is "another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth."81 This new dimension of prayer and of its circumstances is displayed throughout the farewell discourse.82 In the Holy Spirit, Christian prayer is a communion of love with the Father, not only through Christ but also in him: "Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."8

IN BRIEF

2621 In his teaching, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray with a purified heart, with lively and persevering faith, with filial boldness. He calls them to vigilance and invites them to present their petitions to God in his name. Jesus Christ himself answers prayers addressed to him.

The following excerpt comes from Tertullian’s “On Prayer” (1).

The Spirit of God, and the Word of God, and the Reason of God— Word of Reason, and Reason and Spirit of Word— Jesus Christ our Lord, namely, who is both the one and the other, — has determined for us, the disciples of the New Testament, a new form of prayer; for in this particular also it was needful that new wine should be laid up in new skins, and a new breadth be sewn to a new garment. Besides, whatever had been in bygone days, has either been quite changed, as circumcision; or else supplemented, as the rest of the Law; or else fulfilled, as Prophecy; or else perfected, as faith itself. For the new grace of God has renewed all things from carnal unto spiritual, by superinducing the Gospel, the obliterator of the whole ancient bygone system; in which our Lord Jesus Christ has been approved as the Spirit of God, and the Word of God, and the Reason of God: the Spirit, by which He was mighty; the Word, by which He taught; the Reason, by which He came. So the prayer composed by Christ has been composed of three parts. In speech, by which prayer is enunciated, in spirit, by which alone it prevails, even John had taught his disciples to pray, but all John's doings were laid as groundwork for Christ, until, when He had increased— just as the same John used to fore-announce that it was needful that He should increase and himself decrease John 3:30 — the whole work of the forerunner passed over, together with his spirit itself, unto the Lord. Therefore, after what form of words John taught to pray is not extant, because earthly things have given place to heavenly. He who is from the earth, says John, speaks earthly things; and He who is here from the heavens speaks those things which He has seen. John 3:31-32 And what is the Lord Christ's— as this method of praying is— that is not heavenly? And so, blessed brethren, let us consider His heavenly wisdom: first, touching the precept of praying secretly, whereby He exacted man's faith, that he should be confident that the sight and hearing of Almighty God are present beneath roofs, and extend even into the secret place; and required modesty in faith, that it should offer its religious homage to Him alone, whom it believed to see and to hear everywhere. Further, since wisdom succeeded in the following precept, let it in like manner appertain unto faith, and the modesty of faith, that we think not that the Lord must be approached with a train of words, who, we are certain, takes unsolicited foresight for His own. And yet that very brevity— and let this make for the third grade of wisdom— is supported on the substance of a great and blessed interpretation, and is as diffuse in meaning as it is compressed in words. For it has embraced not only the special duties of prayer, be it veneration of God or petition for man, but almost every discourse of the Lord, every record of His Discipline; so that, in fact, in the Prayer is comprised an epitome of the whole Gospel.

Footnotes

65 Cf. ⇒ Mt 7:7-11, ⇒ 13-14.
66 ⇒ Mk 11:24.
67 ⇒ Mk 9:23; cf. ⇒ Mt 21:22.
68 Cf. ⇒ Mk 6:6; ⇒ Mt 8:26.
69 Cf. ⇒ Mt 8:10; ⇒ 15:28.
70 Cf. ⇒ Mt 7:21.
71 Cf. ⇒ Mt 9:38; ⇒ Lk 10:2; ⇒ Jn 4:34.
72 ⇒ Mk 1:15.
73 Cf. ⇒ Mk 13; ⇒ Lk 21:34-36.
74 Cf. ⇒ Lk 22:40, ⇒ 46.
75 Cf. ⇒ Lk 11:5-13.
76 Cf. ⇒ Lk 18:1-8.
77 Cf. ⇒ Lk 18:9-14.
78 ⇒ Jn 14:13.
79 ⇒ Jn 14:6.
80 Cf. ⇒ Jn 14:13-14.
81 ⇒ Jn 14:16-17.
82 Cf. ⇒ Jn 14:23-26; ⇒ 15:7, ⇒ 16; ⇒ 16:13-15; ⇒ 16:23-27.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2129-2132, 2141 – Idolatry and Veneration of Images

clock June 25, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss idolatry and the veneration of images. Supporting material comes from Tertullian’s “On Idolatry”.

IV. "You Shall Not Make For Yourself a Graven Image . . ."

2129 The divine injunction included the prohibition of every representation of God by the hand of man. Deuteronomy explains: "Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figure...."66 It is the absolutely transcendent God who revealed himself to Israel. "He is the all," but at the same time "he is greater than all his works."67 He is "the author of beauty."68

2130 Nevertheless, already in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim.69

2131 Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons - of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new "economy" of images.

2132 The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, "the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it."70 The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone:

Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.71

IN BRIEF

2141 The veneration of sacred images is based on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word of God. It is not contrary to the first commandment.

The following comes from Tertullian’s “On Idolatry.

Chapter 2. Idolatry in Its More Limited Sense. Its Copiousness

But let the universal names of crimes withdraw to the specialities of their own works; let idolatry remain in that which it is itself. Sufficient to itself is a name so inimical to God, a substance of crime so copious, which reaches forth so many branches, diffuses so many veins, that from this name, for the greatest part, is drawn the material of all the modes in which the expansiveness of idolatry has to be foreguarded against by us, since in manifold wise it subverts the servants of God; and this not only when unperceived, but also when cloaked over. Most men simply regard idolatry as to be interpreted in these senses alone, viz.: if one burn incense, or immolate a victim, or give a sacrificial banquet, or be bound to some sacred functions or priesthoods; just as if one were to regard adultery as to be accounted in kisses, and in embraces, and in actual fleshly contact; or murder as to be reckoned only in the shedding forth of blood, and in the actual taking away of life. But how far wider an extent the Lord assigns to those crimes we are sure: when He defines adultery to consist even in concupiscence, Matthew 5:28if one shall have cast an eye lustfully on, and stirred his soul with immodest commotion; when He judges murder Matthew 5:22 to consist even in a word of curseor of reproach, and in every impulse of anger, and in the neglect of charity toward a brother just as John teaches, 1 John 3:15 that he who hates his brother is a murderer. Else, both the devil's ingenuity in malice, and God the Lord's in the Discipline by which He fortifies us against the devil's depths, Revelation 2:24 would have but limited scope, if we were judged only in such faults as even the heathen nations have decreed punishable. How will our righteousness abound above that of the Scribes and Pharisees, as the Lord has prescribed, Matthew 5:20 unless we shall have seen through the abundance of that adversary quality, that is, of unrighteousness? But if the head of unrighteousness is idolatry, the first point is, that we be fore-fortified against the abundance of idolatry, while we recognise it not only in its palpable manifestations.

Footnotes

66 Deut 4:15-16.
67 ⇒ Sir 43:27-28.
68 ⇒ Wis 13:3.
69 Cf. ⇒ Num 21:4-9; ⇒ Wis 16:5-14; ⇒ Jn 3:14-15; ⇒ Ex 25:10-22; ⇒ 1 Kings 6:23-28; ⇒ 7:23-26.
70 St. Basil, De Spiritu Sancto 18, 45: PG 32, 149C; Council of Nicaea II: DS 601; cf. Council of Trent: DS 1821-1825; Vatican Council II: SC 126; LG 67.
71 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 81, 3 ad 3.