We open the Lords Prayer by addressing God as Father. The Pater Noster
is addressed to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
But we speak to Him as Father because God is our Father by every possible
- He is our Father because He is our Creator,
who brought us into existence out of nothing.
- He is our Father because He is our Redeemer
and therefore the source of our supernatural life.
- He is our Father because we are His children by adoption,
sharing already on earth in His own divine life by the grace He has given us.
- He is our Father because by His Providence
He cares for us and provides us with everything we need.
- He is our Father because He has prepared for us a share in the
inheritance that awaits us if we are faithful to the inspirations of His grace.
Christ made sure that from the opening invocation to the
closing petition, we realized our solidarity with others. The collective words
we, our, and us occur nine times
in the Lords Prayer. This emphasizes the fact that the followers of Christ
form a spiritual family, that we are members of the human race, and that when
we pray we should recognize our kinship with others and other peoples need of
our prayerful help.
Whenever Christ spoke to His heavenly Father, He always said
My Father. There is only one natural Father of the Second Person of the
Trinity. To bring this truth home, Christ also had no natural father of His
human nature. But when Jesus taught us to pray, he told us to
address God as our Father.
Saying to God, who art in heaven, does not mean that
somehow He is not on earth. But He is in heaven as the Destiny to which He is
calling us and for which we were made.
In a mysterious sense, heaven is wherever the experience of
Gods presence is enjoyed. On earth we have a foretaste of heaven in the joy
that God gives to those who serve Him, even while they carry their daily cross.
In eternity this joy will be unalloyed and without sorrow or any trial.
The visible heavens of sky and sun, moon and stars are the
biblical symbol for heaven as the home where God dwells and where Christ is
preparing a place for us. The opening words of the Lords Prayer are,
therefore, a reminder to raise our minds and hearts from the things below to
those which are above. Everything on earth should be seen as a means to the
end, or goal, which is our heavenly reward.
Copyright © 2002 Inter Mirifica
Pocket Catholic Catechism