September 24, 2013 01:02 by 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
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.”
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.