Category Archives: seven petitions

587. What is the structure of the Lord’s Prayer?

It contains seven petitions made to God the Father. The first three, more God-centered, draw us toward him for his glory; it is characteristic of love to think first of the beloved. These petitions suggest in particular what we ought to ask of him: the sanctification of his Name, the coming of his Kingdom, and the fulfillment of his will. The last four petitions present to the Father of mercies our wretchedness and our expectations. They ask him to feed us, to forgive us, to sustain us in temptations, and to free us from the Evil One.

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588. What does “Hallowed be thy Name” mean?

To hallow or make holy the Name of God is above all a prayer of praise that acknowledges God as holy. In fact, God revealed his holy Name to Moses and wanted his people to be consecrated for him as a holy nation in which he would dwell.

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589. How is the Name of God made holy in us and in the world?

To make holy the Name of God, who calls us “to holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7) is to desire that our baptismal consecration animate our whole life. In addition, it is to ask –with our lives and our prayers – that the Name of God be known and blessed by every man.

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590. What does the Church ask for when she prays “Thy Kingdom come”?

The Church prays for the final coming of the Kingdom of God through Christ’s return in glory. The Church prays also that the Kingdom of God increase from now on through people’s sanctification in the Spirit and through their commitment to the service of justice and peace in keeping with the Beatitudes. This petition is the cry of the Spirit and the Bride: “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).

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591. Why pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?

The will of the Father is that “all men be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4). For this Jesus came: to perfectly fulfill the saving will of his Father. We pray God our Father to unite our will to that of his Son after the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints. We ask that this loving plan be fully realized on earth as it is already in heaven. It is through prayer that we can discern “what is the will of God” (Romans 12:2) and have the “steadfastness to do it” (Hebrews 10:36).

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592. What is the sense of the petition “Give us this day our daily bread”?

Asking God with the filial trust of children for the daily nourishment which is necessary for us all we recognize how good God is, beyond all goodness. We ask also for the grace to know how to act so that justice and solidarity may allow the abundance of some to remedy the needs of others.

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593. What is the specifically Christian sense of this petition?

Since “man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), this petition equally applies to hunger for the Word of God and for the Body of Christ received in the Eucharist as well as hunger for the Holy Spirit. We ask this with complete confidence for this day – God’s “today” – and this is given to us above all in the Eucharist which anticipates the banquet of the Kingdom to come.

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