The Pater Noster: a complete catechism of the will in one prayer!


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Just as the Apostle’s and Nicene creeds are excellent catecheses of dogmatic theology (i.e. what we believe), the Pater Noster (aka the Our Father or Lord’s Prayer) is not only a summary but IMHO the prime catechesis of the will.

I personally have benefitted much from it. First, it is THE complete prayer and sets our priorities straight. Second, it introduces the subject the mystics and saints have been trying to tell us for centuries: “May thy will be done, not mine”. Total subjection to the divine Will. It opens the door to this corrupt world for the Will of the Highest through us (What honor!), and it creates you as a vessel of His Holy Spirit. It makes you a rarity in a world which turns its back on Him.

What has this simple and universal prayer meant in your life?
Let’s hear it!

For example,
When I was an atheist on the “Damascus road” to conversion and still had strong feelings of doubt (although intellectually I could not refute the Lord’s Word any longer), I prayed “Defeat me, oh Lord, defeat me!” I needed God to give me the final blow, any and all the final blows necessary, without consideration to all (and any) the pain it would require. I was already agonic with pain from all the lacerating conflict of knowing there could be no other way, I was completely “refuted”, but I could not bring myself to take it in. Only when I asked to be smitten… I know, “smite” is a hard word, but that is what it took for this diehard rebel… What am I saying? “Took” in past tense? No! It’s what it takes day to day for this recalcitrant infidel. I no longer rebel in my intellect, I rebel with my will, it is ever so hard to come from diehard moral liberalism to acquiescence. The struggle goes on, but I have the Lord’s Prayer to help me on the way.


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