Sunday, August 23, 2015

Spirituality: “Thy Will Be Done” By Walter Ciszek, S.J.

“Thy will be done.” That was the key, but only slowly did I come to experience how perfect a prayer is the Our Father, the Lord’s Prayer. “Lord, teach us how to pray,” the disciples had said, and in his answer the Lord had explained the whole theology of prayer in the most simple terms, exhaustive in its content and yet intended for the use of all [persons] without distinction. The human mind could not elaborate a better pattern in prayer than the one the Lord himself gave us.

He begins by placing us in the presence of God. God the Almighty, who has created all things out of nothingness and keeps them in existence lest they return to nothingness, who rules all things and governs all things in the heavens and on earth according to the designs of his own providence. And yet this same God our Father, who cherishes us and looks after us as his sons [and daughters], who provides for us in his own loving kindness, guides us in his wisdom, who watches over us daily to shelter us from harm, to provide us food, to receive us back with open arms when we, like the prodigal, have wasted our inheritance. Even as a father guards his children, he guards us from evil – because evil does exist in the world. And just as he can find it in his Father’s heart to pardon us, he expects us to imitate him in pardoning his other sons [and daughters], our brothers [and sisters], no matter what their offenses.

The Our Father is a prayer of praise and thanksgiving, a prayer of petition and reparation. It encompasses in its short and simple phrases every relation between [the human person] and his Creator, between us and our loving, heavenly Father. It is a prayer for all times, for every occasion. It is at once the most simple of prayers and the most profound. One could meditate continuously on each word and phrase of that formula and never fully exhaust its riches. If we could only translate each of its phrases into the actions of our daily lives, then we would indeed be perfect as our heavenly Father clearly wishes us to be. Truly, the Lord’s Prayer is the beginning and end of all prayers, the key to every other form of prayer.