Friday, January 1, 2016

Our Father, Who art in Heaven

(Sometime last year I posted a list of 55 Precepts for Christian Living by Fr. Thomas Hopko. I have seen the list circulated quite a bit since then and I recently came across the suggestion of journaling through each item on the list. I thought that was a wonderful suggestion and, as I considered doing it, I decided that I'd like to share some of my thoughts here.)

Fourth on the list: 

Say the Lord's Prayer several times each day. 

Instead of trying to write on this myself, I'll just share with you the beautiful words of St. John Chrysostom, in his 19th homily on the Gospel of Matthew:  

...he who calls God Father, by him both remission of sins, and taking away of punishment, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, and adoption, and inheritance, and brotherhood with the Only-Begotten, and the supply of the Spirit, are acknowledged in this single title... 
... But when He saith, "in Heaven," He speaks not this as shutting up God there, but as withdrawing him who is praying from earth, and fixing him in the high places, and in the dwellings above. 
He teaches, moreover, to make our prayer common, in behalf of our brethren also. For He saith not, "my Father, which art in Heaven," but, "our Father," offering up his supplications for the body in common, and nowhere looking to his own, but everywhere to his neighbor's good. And by this He at once takes away hatred, and quells pride, and casts out envy, and brings in the mother of all good things, even charity, and exterminates the inequality of human things, and shows how far the equality reaches between the king and the poor man, if at least in those things which are greatest and most indispensable, we are all of us fellows. For what harm comes of our kindred below, when in that which is on high we are all of us knit together, and no one hath aught more than another; neither the rich more than the poor, nor the master than the servant, neither the ruler than the subject, nor the king than the common soldier, nor the philosopher than the barbarian, nor the skillful than the unlearned? For to all hath He given one nobility, having vouchsafed to be called the Father of all alike.

 That's obviously not the entire sermon, but just in these few paragraphs we have reason enough to repeat the Lord's Prayer fervently and frequently. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Lisa! This is a great meditation for the first day of 2016, and I need the reminder as well, to make use of this prayer more often than I do. I hadn't read St. John Chrysostom's words on the subject before. May your family reap God's rich blessings in the new year!


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