Last night at RCIA/Adult Confirmation was the session known as the Presentation of the Creed and Presentation of the Lord’s Prayer. This night occurs during the Purification stage of the RCIA process. Usually we would separate these two, but since we were short on time in the calendar this year, I decided months ago to put them on the same night. However, before we presented them with the Nicene Creed, our priest in residence and Chaplain of Seton Catholic Preparatory, Fr. Chris Axline came in to teach about the Nicene Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.
Drawing from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Fr. Chris explained some of the theology behind the Nicene Creed and why the Creed is so important in the life of a Catholic. To learn more about the Nicene Creed, I would encourage you to read last year’s QLC on The Creeds. Pulling from St. Teresa of Avila’s great work, The Way of Perfection, Father explained the beauty of the Lord’s Prayer also known to many as the “Our Father.”
With this being said, I found today as the perfect opportunity to share with you what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches on the Lord’s Prayer. Although the Catechism teaches also on the phrase “Our Father Who Art in Heaven” as well as the Seven Petitions in the Lord’s Prayer, today we are going to focus on the general understanding of this prayer –
In response to his disciples’ request “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1), Jesus entrusts them with the fundamental Christian prayer, the Our Father. [#2773]
“The Lord’s Prayer is truly the summary of the whole gospel,” the “most perfect of prayers.” It is at the center of the Scriptures. [#2774]
It is called “the Lord’s Prayer” because it comes to us from the Lord Jesus, the master and model of our prayer. [#2775]
The Lord’s Prayer is the quintessential prayer of the Church. It is an integral part of the major hours of the Divine Office and of the sacraments of Christian initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. Integrated into the Eucharist it reveals the eschatological character of its petitions, hoping for the Lord, “until he comes” (1 Cor 11:26). [#2776]
For a complete understanding of The Lord’s Prayer, I would also suggest reading paragraphs 2759-2772. If you are up for a challenge, read St. Teresa of Avila’s, The Way of Perfection. It can be found on Amazon and Kindle for a rather inexpensive price.
Later this week I will write on the other two parts of this prayer as presented and taught in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Make sure you check back for those upcoming blog posts.