SIX VOLUMES IN ONE
BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D.
REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.
REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada
REV. STEPHEN KEENAN
REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J.
REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.
THE LORD'S PRAYER EXPOUNDED.
Q. What is the Lord's prayer?
A. It is a prayer made by Christ our Lord, to be said by all Christians; and delivered as a model, according to which all our petitions are to be drawn up ; Matt. vi. 9, etc.; Luke xi. 2.
Q. What are the general contents of this prayer ?
A. It mentions the good we petition for, and the evil we desire to be freed from.
Q. Which are the goods we desire, and the evils we petition to be freed from?
A. The goods we desire are three, viz.: The glory of God; the salvation of our souls, and the obeying divine will. The evils are these four; want of necessaries, that we may be capable of honoring God, and laboring for our salvation; secondly, to be freed from sin; thirdly; to avoid temptations; and, fourthly, to be protected in *pain, and temporal calamities.
Q. Which is the preface to these seven petitions ?
A. Our Father who art in heaven.
Q. Why is this prayer addressed to God as a Father, and in what sense is he a Father?
A. Father is the most endearing title, and rather used than King, Lord, or any other that is of a forbidding import; for as fathers have naturally a love and tenderness for their children, so it gives the petitioner great hopes of succeeding, when he is ordered to approach the Almighty, in quality of a father. Now, God is our father on several accounts, viz.: By creation, in giving us our being; by preservation, in preserving our being ; by a providential care, in furnishing us with all things necessary and convenient for life, and often distinguishing favors of fortune, parts, etc. Again, by furnishing us with means to be happy hereafter, viz.: Faith, grace, and being his adopted children, of an eternal inheritance; as also by the incarnation, by redeeming us from the slavery of sin, and the devil.
Q. Why do you say our father, rather than my father?
A. To signify that we are all brethren of the same father, and therefore ought to love one another; and respectively not only to pray for ourselves, but all mankind, viz.: Friends, and enemies, and for the conversion of sinners, infidels, heretics, etc. So it is a common prayer.
Q. Why is the prayer addressed to God in heaven ?
A. Not that God is only in heaven, for he is every where; but because heaven is the place where he resides, with the greatest show of majesty, and by his omnipotency, is capable of affording assistance to all petitioners.
Q. Which is the first petition ?
A. Hallowed be thy name.
Q. Is not God's name always holy, and how do we petition that it may be made holy ?
A. We do not petition, that it may be holy in itself, it being always intrinsically so, neither can we add nor detract, from the intrinsical holiness of his name. What we therefore are to petition for is, that his name may be honored, and treated with due respect, and not abused; with respect, by faith, hope, and charity; believing what he has revealed, and practising the holy things he has ordained, and not abuse his holy name, by oaths, perjury, blasphemy, obscene and profane language; Rom. ii. 23, 24.
Q. Which is the second petition?
A. Thy kingdom come.
Q. Which are God's kingdoms?
A. All the temporal kingdoms of this world; the kingdom of his Church. The kingdom of grace, whereby he reigns spiritually in man's soul, and the kingdom of glory in a future state.
Q. In what sense do we petition that each of these kingdoms may come ?
A. We do not petition that temporal kingdoms may come, because they are come, and God actually governs all kingdoms ; neither do we petition that the kingdom of the Church may come, it being already established; yet we may petition for its greater extension, by adding to it all those parts of the earth which are separated from it by infidelity or heresy. What we chiefly pray for, is, that the kingdom of grace may be established in our souls, by believing and practising what he has ordered, and that by so doing, we may at last reign with him in his kingdom of glory, in a future state.