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Pray the Our Father with filial boldness



Philip Kosloski - published on 05/07/24

The Church dares us to pray the Our Father with the boldness that belongs to a son or daughter who trusts firmly in the Father's love.

Whenever you attend Mass in the Roman Rite, the priest will invite the congregation to pray the Our Father.

The invitation the priest recites at Mass challenges all of us to pray with boldness.

At the Savior’s command
and formed by divine teaching,
we dare to say:

TheCatechism of the Catholic Church dwells on this simple invitation and expands upon it in its section on the Lord’s Prayer:

In the Roman liturgy, the Eucharistic assembly is invited to pray to our heavenly Father with filial boldness; the Eastern liturgies develop and use similar expressions: “dare in all confidence,” “make us worthy of. . . . ” From the burning bush Moses heard a voice saying to him, “Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Only Jesus could cross that threshold of the divine holiness, for “when he had made purification for sins,” he brought us into the Father’s presence: “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

CCC 2777

Abba, Father

Christianity is a unique religion in that we call God “Father.”

In the past, God was typically viewed as a distant divine being; an impersonal god who was always angry at humans.

When Jesus came upon earth, he taught us to call God “Father,” and to approach him as sons and daughters.

St. Peter Chrysologus reflects on this remarkable relationship with creature and Creator:

Our awareness of our status as slaves would make us sink into the ground and our earthly condition would dissolve into dust, if the authority of our Father himself and the Spirit of his Son had not impelled us to this cry . . . ‘Abba, Father!’ . . . When would a mortal dare call God ‘Father,’ if man’s innermost being were not animated by power from on high?”

CCC 2777

Certainty of being loved

The Catechism explains this filial boldness with a few additional words:

This power of the Spirit who introduces us to the Lord’s Prayer is expressed in the liturgies of East and of West by the beautiful, characteristically Christian expression: parrhesia, straightforward simplicity, filial trust, joyous assurance, humble boldness, the certainty of being loved.

CCC 2778

Reflect on that last phrase for a few moments. Do we pray the Our Father with “the certainty of being loved”?

This is what it means to pray the Our Father with filial boldness. We pray to God as a son or daughter who is loved and secure in that love.

BibleCCC PrayerPrayer
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