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672

Part Four

A

rticle

3

THE SEVEN PETITIONS

2803

After we have placed ourselves in the presence of God our

Father to adore and to love and to bless him, the Spirit of adoption

stirs up in our hearts seven petitions, seven blessings. The first

three, more theologal, draw us toward the glory of the Father; the

last four, as ways toward him, commend our wretchedness to his

grace. “Deep calls to deep.”

63

2804

The first series of petitions carries us toward him, for his

own sake:

thy

name,

thy

kingdom,

thy

will! It is characteristic of

love to think first of the one whom we love. In none of the three

petitions do we mention ourselves; the burning desire, even an­

guish, of the beloved Son for his Father’s glory seizes us:

64

“hal­

lowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done. . . .”

These three supplications were already answered in the saving

sacrifice of Christ, but they are henceforth directed in hope toward

their final fulfillment, for God is not yet all in all.

65

2805

The second series of petitions unfolds with the same

movement as certain Eucharistic epicleses: as an offering up of

our expectations, that draws down upon itself the eyes of the

Father of mercies. They go up from us and concern us from this

very moment, in our present world: “give

us 

. . . forgive

us 

. . .

lead

us

not . . . deliver

us.

. . .” The fourth and fifth petitions

concern our life as such—to be fed and to be healed of sin; the last

two concern our battle for the victory of life—that battle of

prayer.

2806

By the three first petitions, we are strengthened in faith,

filled with hope, and set aflame by charity. Being creatures and still

sinners, we have to petition for us, for that “us” bound by the world

and history, which we offer to the boundless love of God. For

through the name of his Christ and the reign of his Holy Spirit, our

Father accomplishes his plan of salvation, for us and for the whole

world.

63

Ps

42:7.

64 Cf.

Lk

22:44; 12:50.

65 Cf.

1 Cor

15:28.

2627

1105

2656-2658