Happy Father’s Day to Our Father in Heaven
Happy Father’s Day to All Fathers, Including Our Father in Heaven!
As we celebrate Father’s Day today in the United States, we include Our Father in heaven and we honor and thank Him for all He has done for us in sending Christ to show us the Father, His mercy and His love.
Jesus taught His disciples the “Our Father” prayer when they asked Him to teach them how to pray. This prayer is a model for us and a sure guide to living the Christian life. As Saint Cyprian taught in a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer:
How merciful the Lord is to us, how kind and richly compassionate! He wished us to repeat this prayer in God’s sight, to call the Lord our Father and, as Christ is God’s Son, be called in turn sons [and daughters] of God! None of us would ever have dared to utter this name unless he himself had allowed us to pray in this way. And therefore, dear friends, we should bear in mind and realize that when we call God our Father we ought also to act like sons [and daughters]. If we are pleased to call him Father, let him in turn be pleased to call us sons [and daughters].
We should live like the temples of God we are, so that it can be seen that God lives in us. No act of ours should be unworthy of the spirit. Now that we have begun to live in heaven and in spirit, all our thoughts and actions should be heavenly and spiritual; for, as the Lord God himself has said: Those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be despised [cf 1 Samuel 2:30]. And the blessed Apostle wrote in his letter: You are not your own; you were bought with a great price. So glorify and bear God in your body [1 Corinthians 6:19-20].
So, taking St. Cyprian’s words to heart, for those who have not seen this, here is a popular description of some things implicit in the Our Father which call us to conversion and call us to account.* Food for thought!
- Don’t say: “Our”
- if you live a life isolated in your own big fat ego.
- Don’t say “Father”
- if you don’t behave as a child of God.
- Don’t say: “who art in heaven”
- if you are focused on earthly things.
- Don’t say: “hallowed be thy name”
- if you curse, swear or otherwise do not honor God’s name (and His person).
- Don’t say: “thy kingdom come”
- if you think being successful in the world equates to the Kingdom of God.
- Don’t say: “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
- if you do not accept God’s will when it’s painful, and if you do not believe in heaven.
- Don’t say: “give us this day our daily bread”
- if you’re not concerned about–and doing something to help–the hungry and those without the necessities of life.
- Don’t say: “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”
- if you hold grudges against others or bear resentment against them.
- Don’t say: “lead us not into temptation”
- if you intend to continue sinning.
- Don’t say: “deliver us from evil”
- if you do not take a stand against evil.
- Don’t say: “Amen”
- if you do not believe in the words of the Our Father.
*A modified translation of the Spanish version of what’s believed to be the original Portuguese, posted at Casa Dom Inácio, Abadiânia GO, Brazil, author unknown.
Art: Modified detail of Kirche am Lisnaberg in der Gemeinde Ruden [Austria] – Gottvater (Church at the Lisnaberg in the community of Ruden [Austria] – God the Father), Raul de Chissota, 12 April 2013 own work, PD-Worldwide, Wikimedia Commons.