Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Our Father, Part 2

Dear Parish Faithful,

Here is a response I received to today’s earlier meditation based on the Lord’s Prayer.  There are some more wonderful insights into this inexhaustible prayer that I wanted to share with everyone.  I thank Alexis for putting this together.

Fr. Steven

Subject: RE: Monday Midday Meditation

Good Evening Fr. Steven

Sunday’s Gospel reading, your homily and our post Liturgy discussion prompted me to look for a booklet that I received some time ago from the Mothers & Sisters of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City, PA.  This booklet is entitled Our Father: Meditations on The Lord’s Prayer by Mother Alexandra.   It is beautifully crafted providing a prayer rule which focuses on one line of the prayer at a time, every day, once in the morning and once in the evening.   The prayers were composed by Mother Alexandra and the booklet is no more than 16 short pages, but overwhelmingly profound in its simplicity.  You are most likely familiar with it.  (Perhaps we can order a few from the monastery for the bookstore or library.)

The foreword penned by Mother Alexandra is in its own way another meditation that I wanted to share with you:

Taken from Author’s Foreword

Jesus gave His disciples a new rule of prayer rather than a new prayer.  We could visualize the Lord’s Prayer as a discipline planned out like the rungs of a ladder mounting up to the Heavenly Kingdom for which we pray.

First, we recognize God as our Father because in creating us, he loved us.  We then acknowledge our dependence upon Him and hallow His name.  We realize our need of His Kingdom which we can reach only by obedience to His Will.  God grants our daily requirements, we need ask for nothing more; except for mercy.  For this we have to pay the price: give to others the forgiveness we ask for ourselves.  To the attainment of Heaven belongs the overcoming of evil, the determination to say: ‘get thee hence Satan’.

If in the prayers [here Mother Alexandra is referring to the meditations/prayers she wrote in the pages that follow the foreword] ‘I’ is used in preference to the ‘we’, it is to underscore the need for each one of us to recognize our personal commitment in bearing each day our individual responsibility for the coming of the Kingdom.

In our Father is unity and oneness as we worship Him in spirit and truth.

Truly, a beautiful work that provides a basic yet powerful prayer rule to help us focus on the “one thing needful”…communion with God without Whom, we cannot sustain.

In Christ,

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