Understanding the 'Our Father' - Dr. Scott Hahn - Deep in History

There’s been commentaries on the Our Father since the 2nd century, so it probably won’t stop any time soon. :wink:


It used to be that even laypeople could write about the Our Father. They did not need any degrees or ordination, it was allowed for all.


Um… It still is allowed. If you want to publish something formally, you might want to get it vetted by the bishop; but everybody’s mom or dad provides commentary on the Our Father to every kid learning it.

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Dr. Scott Hahn is correct to say the Our Father is the most perfect of prayers. We read in the Catechism, n. 2763, a citation from S. Thomas Aquinas: “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.”

The virtue of Hope is proper to operation due to the arduous task the virtue takes on to his or her inheritance. Now, S. Thomas wrote, “To Christ, inasmuch as He is the natural Son of God, is due an eternal inheritance, which is the uncreated beatitude through the uncreated act of knowledge and love of God, i.e., the same whereby the Father knows and loves Himself. Now the soul was not capable of this act, on account of the difference of natures. Hence it behooved it to attain to God…not be without grace.” (STh III, q. 7, a. 1, Rep. 2)

Why should we be told what to desire? The affections that worship in “spirit and truth” desire God alone as his or her inheritance toward a journey of more fervent affection. “But when we pray to God, the very prayer we send forth makes us intimate with him, inasmuch as our soul is raised up to God and converses with him in spiritual affection, and adores him in spirit and truth.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, CT. Book II, C. 2, 4)

“The confidence which man has in God ought to be most certain…nor does he lack power, for the hand of the Lord is not shortened that it cannot save , as we read in Isaiah 59:1. Nor is he wanting in good will, for the Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the soul that seeks him , as we are reminded in Lamentations 3:25. Therefore, the hope with which a person trusts in God does not confound him that hopes, as is said in Romans 5:5.” (Ibid., C. 4, 3)

“To man is given, over and above the nature of his soul, the perfection of grace, by which he is made a partaker in the divine nature , as we are taught in 2 Peter 1:4. As a result of this, we are said to be regenerated and to become sons of God, according to John 1:12: He gave power to become children of God . Thus raised to be sons, men may reasonably hope for an inheritance, as we learn from Romans 8:17: if sons, then heirs .” (Ibid. C. 4, 6)

“Hence we are commanded in Jeremiah 3:19: You shall call me Father and shall not cease to walk after me . If, then, as Gregory of Nyssa reminds us, you turn your gaze to worldly affairs, or seek human honor or the filth of passionate craving: how can you, who lead such a corrupt life, call the source of incorruption your Father?” (Ibid., 7)

We walk to the sacraments assiduously. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “it is thus that the sacraments of the New Law cause grace: for they are instituted by God to be employed for the purpose of conferring grace. Hence Augustine says ( Contra Faust . xix): All these things , viz. pertaining to the sacraments, are done and pass away, but the power , viz. of God, which works by them, remains ever .” (STh III, q. 62. a.1, c.)

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The Catechism of the Catholic Church has an entire section devoted to the Lord’s Prayer.

A very easy exercise is…

Next time you Pray the Our Father… maintain your focus upon WHAT you say/pray…

If you find your mind drifting?

Pray it again.

This way - you’ll Know it better… if you don’t already.

That said - We can Speak to our Father – In Praise, Thankgiving, Petition and Sorrow.
even in less than - call it - formalized manners.

You need Wisdom, Fortitude, Etc? Ask your Father who Loves you - In Faith…

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