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The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page
The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page

Part Four:  

Lord, Teach Us To Pray

The Invocation: 

Our Father, Who Art in Heaven”

Table of Contents    

Convent of the Pater Noster We open the Lord’s 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 title.
  • 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 Lord’s 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 people’s 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 God’s 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 Lord’s 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.

The Holy Trinity

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Pocket Catholic Catechism

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“The Convent of the Pater Noster was built over the site where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer. Catholic-Carmelite Cloistered Sisters Located on the Mount of Olives [in Jerusalem]. The walls are decorated with 111 ceramic tiles, each one inscribed with the Lord’s Prayer in a different language.” Used with permission from: Michael Olteanu, Executive Director, Christus Rex, Inc.
(Please Note: this website is referenced with the following restriction).

The picture “The Holy Trinity” at the bottom of the page is from the book Christian Symbols, drawn by Rudolf Koch (1876 – 1934) with the collaboration of Fritz Kredel (1900 – 1973) (trans. Kevin Ahern; San Francisco: Arion Press, 1996) courtesy of Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

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