“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s alleluia verse proclaims, “You have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15bc). When I pray, do I truly approach God as my loving parent, as one who has chosen me to be God’s child? Do I trust that God will see, hear and love me as I am? What stands in the way of me coming to God in this way? What in me needs healing, conversion, wisdom, mercy or just judgement? Will I speak to God about all these questions and ask for what I need?
—Paula Sapienza is a spiritual director at Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House in Sedalia, Colorado.
I look at God, my loving Parent, who is looking at me in love. I allow God’s love for me to sink in, for God’s loving gaze to affect me.
I ask for what I want. Here, it will be for an intimate experience of how God sees me as God’s beloved child.
I then slowly ponder each individual word or phrase of the Our Father, or I simply rest in the prayer in a way even deeper than words.
I close my prayer by speaking with God, my loving Parent, heart-to-heart.
—Paula SapienzaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!