Monday, June 22, 2009

The Our Father

Somewhat recently I either heard or read that if we all lived the "Our Father" the world would be an amazing place. Seems pretty simple, doesn't it? I thought about what that would entail and here is my take on it:

"Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name"

I believe this is reminding us that we should spend a portion of every day thanking God for all of the blessings He has bestowed upon us as well as praise His holy name throughout the day, not use it in an off-handed or profane way.

"Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."

I guess it gets a little harder, here, doesn't it? Discerning God's will for ourselves can be difficult. I figure the best thing we can do is to live in the present moment and ask ourselves (not necessarily make it a conscious question at every moment, but maybe at the beginning of each new task) if what we are doing is what we think God would want us to be doing at that moment. If we live in the present and keep God at the forefront, we will probably stay on track. It seems that when we start living in the past or future too much, or don't stay recollected that we begin to stray from God's will for us.

"Give us this day, our daily bread"

For me, if I make it to Mass every day, then I feel I've lived this part of the prayer. If that is not possible, then a good Spiritual Communion can help me to come close.

"And forgive us our trespasses"

Aside from going to confession every day :), nothing helps to fulfill this part of the prayer better than a thorough, nightly examination of conscience. I usually try to do one mid-way through the day just so that the one at night doesn't take so long (since I'm usually falling asleep while trying to do it :) Asking God to point out my sins and omissions of the day and then asking for His forgiveness sure helps to make my sleep more peaceful.

"As we forgive those who trespass against us"

HMMM, another tough one. It is soooo hard sometimes to go to bed having forgiven someone for something they may have said or done to me that day. Usually, if I can't bring myself to do it that day, I tell God that I would like to forgive that person, but since I can't seem to do it right yet, could He give me the grace to do it soon. He always comes through for me!

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

Okay, I know that God never leads us into temptation, so in trying to live this part of the prayer, I think we should try to stay away from things that might be near occassions of sin for us. Whether it is a website, a conversation or a place that might cause us to weaken and then sin, we need to ask for the grace every day to avoid those things that might lead us into temptation. If we ask for this grace, then God, in His Goodness, will deliver us from that evil.


So be it! When you break it down, it really doesn't seem like a lot to remember and do every day. I guess by ourselves we cannot do it, but with the grace of God it is possible. Imagine the world we would live in if everyone even TRIED to live this prayer out. I guess it truly would be Heaven on Earth!