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494 • Part IV. Prayer: The Faith Prayed

• “Thy kingdom come” turns our attention to the final coming of Jesus

and the ultimate fulfillment of his Kingdom. This was the prayerful

cry of the early Christians who had a vivid sense of Christ’s final

coming—Maranatha! “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20).

• “In the third petition, we ask our Father to unite our will to that of

his Son, so as to fulfill his plan of salvation in the life of the world”

(CCC, no. 2860).

• “‘Our daily bread’ refers to the earthly nourishment necessary to

everyone for subsistence, and also to the Bread of Life: the Word of

God and the Body of Christ” (CCC, no. 2861).

• “The fifth petition begs God’s mercy for our offences, mercy which

can penetrate our hearts only if we have learned to forgive our ene-

mies, with the example and help of Christ” (CCC, no. 2862).

• “When we say ‘lead us not into temptation,’ we are asking God not

to allow us to take the path that leads to sin. This petition implores

the Spirit of discernment and strength; it requests the grace of vigi-

lance and final perseverance” (CCC, no. 2863).

• “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” (CCC, no. 2864).

• We conclude with the “Amen,” which means, “So be it.”We joyfully

ratify the words that Jesus has taught us (cf. CCC, no. 2856).


The proper ordering of our external activities can only be

achieved once we have re-established conscious contact with

the center of all these activities and concerns. This center is the

aim of our meditation. In St. Teresa’s words, “God is the cen-

ter of the soul.” When our access to this center is opened up,

the Kingdom of God is established in our hearts. That king-

dom is nothing less than the present power and all-pervasive life

of God Himself permeating all creation. In the words of John

Cassian: “He who is the author of eternity would have men ask

of him nothing that is uncertain, petty or temporal.”