8 - 11 minutes readThe Lord’s Prayer

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The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer in General

1 Q. Which is the most excellent of all vocal prayers?
A. The most excellent of all vocal prayers is that which Jesus Christ taught us, that is to say, the Our Father.

2 Q. Why is the Our Father the most excellent of all prayers?
A. The Our Father is the most excellent of all prayers because Jesus Christ Himself composed it and taught it to us; because it contains clearly and in a few words all we can hope for from God; and because it is the standard and model of all other prayers.

3 Q. Is the Our Father also the most efficacious of prayers?
A. Yes, it is also the most efficacious of prayers, because it is the most acceptable to God, since in it we pray in the very words His Divine Son has taught us.

4 Q. Why is the Our Father called the Lord’s prayer?
A. The Our Father is called the Lord’s Prayer, precisely because Jesus Christ our Lord has taught it to us with His own lips.

5 Q. How many petitions are there in the Our Father?
A. In the Our Father there are seven petitions preceded by an introduction.

6 Q. Say the Our Father.
A. (1) Our Father who art in Heaven: (2) Hallowed be Thy Name; (3) Thy kingdom come; (4) Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; (5) Give us this day our daily bread; (6) And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; (7) And lead us not into temptation; (8) But deliver us from evil. Amen.

7 Q. When invoking God in the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer, why do we call Him Our Father?
A. In the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer we call God Our Father, to foster confidence in His infinite goodness by the remembrance that we are his children.

8 Q. How can we say that we are the children of God?
A. We are the children of God: first, because He has created us in His own image, and preserves and governs us by His providence; and secondly, because by an Act of special benevolence He has adopted us in Baptism as brothers of Jesus Christ and co-heirs with Him to eternal glory.

9 Q. Why do we call God Our Father and not my Father?
A. We call God Our Father and not my Father, because we are all His children, and hence we should look on and love one another as brothers and pray for one another.

10 Q. God being in every place, why do we say: Who art in heaven?
A. God is in every place; but we say: Our Father who art in heaven, to raise our hearts to heaven, where God manifests His glory to His children.

The First Petition

11 Q. What do we ask in the First Petition when we say: Hallowed be Thy Name?
A. In the First Petition: Hallowed be Thy Name, we ask that God may be known, loved, honoured and served by the whole world and by ourselves in particular.

12 Q. What do we intend when we ask that God may be known, loved, honoured and served by the whole world?
A. We intend to beg that infidels may come to the knowledge of the Lord God, that heretics may recognise their errors, that schismatics may return to the unity of the Church, that sinners may repent, and that the just may persevere in well-doing.

13 Q. Why do we first of all ask that the Name of God may be sanctified?
A. We first of all ask that the Name of God may be sanctified, because the glory of God should be nearer our hearts than all other goods and interests.

14 Q. How can we promote the glory of God?
A. We can promote the glory of God by prayer, by good example, and by directing to Him all our thoughts, affections and actions.

The Second Petition

15 Q. What do we mean by the Kingdom of God?
A. By the Kingdom of God we mean a threefold spiritual Kingdom; that is, the reign of God in us, or the reign of grace; the reign of God on earth, or the Holy Catholic Church; and the reign of God in heaven, or Paradise.

16 Q. In the words: Thy Kingdom come, what do we ask with regard to grace?
A. With regard to grace we beg that God may reign in us by His sanctifying grace, by which He deigns to dwell within us as a king in his palace; and that He may keep us ever united to Himself by the virtues of faith, hope and charity, through which He reigns over our intellect, our heart and our will.

17 Q. In the words: Thy Kingdom come, what do we ask regarding the Church?
A. Regarding the Church we ask that she may be spread and propagated ever more and more throughout the world for the salvation of mankind.

18 Q. In the words: Thy Kingdom come, what do we ask regarding Heaven?
A. Regarding Heaven we beg to be one day admitted into that Paradise for which we were created and where we shall be perfectly happy.

The Third Petition

19 Q. What do we ask in the Third Petition: Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven?
A. In the Third Petition: Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, we beg the grace to do the will of God in all things by obeying His Commandments as promptly as the Angels and Saints obey Him in Heaven; and we also beg the grace to correspond to divine inspirations and to live resigned to the will of God should He send us tribulations.

20 Q. Is it necessary to do the will of God?
A. It is as necessary to do the will of God as it is to work out our salvation, because Jesus Christ has said that they alone who have done the will of His Father shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

21 Q. In what way can we know the will of God?
A. We can know the will of God especially by means of the Church and of the spiritual superiors appointed by God to guide us along the way of salvation; we may also learn His most holy will from the divine inspirations that come to us and from the very surroundings in which the Lord has placed us.

22 Q. Should we always recognise the will of God in adversity as well as in prosperity?
A. Both in prosperity and adversity we should always recognise the will of God, who directs or permits all things for our good.

The Fourth Petition

23 Q. What do we ask in the Fourth Petition: Give us this day our daily bread?
A. In the Fourth Petition we beg of God all that is daily necessary for soul and body.

24 Q. What do we ask of God for our soul?
A. For our soul we ask of God the sustenance of our spiritual life, that is, we pray the Lord to give us His grace of which we stand in continual need.

25 Q. How is the life of the soul nourished?
A. The life of the soul is nourished principally by the food of the word of God and by the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

26 Q. What do we ask of God for our body?
A. For the body we ask all that is necessary for the sustainment of our temporal life.

27 Q. Why do we say: Give us this day our daily bread, rather than: Give us bread this day?
A. We say: Give us this day our daily bread, rather than: Give us bread this day, to exclude all desire of what is another’s; and hence we beg the Lord to help us in acquiring just and lawful gains, so that we may procure our maintenance by our own toil And without theft or fraud.

28 Q. Why do we say: Give us bread, and not: Give me bread?
A. We say: Give us, rather than, Give me, to remind us that as everything comes from God, so if He gives us His gifts in abundance, He does it in order that we may share what we do not need with the poor.

29 Q. Why do we add: Daily?
A. We add, Daily, because we should desire that which is necessary to life, and not an abundance of food and other goods of the earth.

30 Q. What more does Daily signify in the Fourth Petition?
A. The word Daily signifies that we should not be too solicitous regarding the future, but that we should simply ask what we need at present.

The Fifth Petition

31 Q. What do we ask in the Fifth Petition; And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us?
A. In the Fifth Petition: And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us, we ask God to pardon us our sins as we pardon those who offend us.

32 Q. Why are our sins called debts?
A. Our sins are called debts, because we must satisfy God’s justice for them either in this life or in the next.

33 Q. Can those who do not forgive their neighbour hope that God will pardon them?
A. Those who do not forgive their neighbour have no reason to hope that God will pardon them; especially since they condemn themselves when they ask God to forgive them as they forgive their neighbour.

The Sixth Petition

34 Q. What do we ask in the Sixth Petition: And lead us not into temptation?
A. In the Sixth Petition: And lead us not into temptation, we ask God to deliver us from temptation either by not allowing us to be tempted, or by giving us grace not to be conquered.

35 Q. What are temptations?
A. Temptations are an incitement to sin that comes from the devil, or from the wicked, or from our own evil passions.

36 Q. Is it a sin to have temptations?
A. No, it is no sin to have temptations; but it is a sin to consent to them, or voluntarily to expose oneself to the danger of consenting to them.

37 Q. Why does God allow us to be tempted?
A. God allows us to be tempted so as to test our fidelity, increase our virtue, and augment our merits.

38 Q. What should we do to avoid temptations?
A. To avoid temptation we should fly dangerous occasions, guard our senses, receive the sacraments frequently, and have recourse to the practice of prayer.

The Seventh Petition

39 Q. What do we ask in the Seventh Petition: But deliver us from evil?
A. In the Seventh Petition: But deliver us from evil, we ask God to free us from evils, past, present, and future, and particularly from the greatest of all evils which is sin, and from eternal damnation, which is its penalty.

40 Q. Why do we say: Deliver us from evil and not: From evils?
A. We say: Deliver us from evil, and not, from evils, because we should not desire to be exempt from all the evils of this life, but only from those which are not good for our souls; and hence we beg liberation from evil in general, that is, from whatever God sees would be bad for us.

41 Q. Is it not lawful to beg liberation from some evil in particular, for example, from sickness?
A. Yes, it is lawful to beg liberation from some evil in particular but always in bowing to the will of God, who may even ordain that particular affliction for the good of our soul.

42 Q. How do the tribulations, which God sends us, help us?
A. Tribulations help us to do penance for our sins, to practise virtue, and above all to imitate Jesus Christ, our Head, to whom it is fitting we should conform ourselves in our sufferings, if we wish to have a share in His glory.

43 Q. What is the meaning of Amen at the end of the Our Father?
A. Amen means: So be it; So I do desire; Thus do I pray the Lord; Thus do I hope.

44 Q. To obtain the graces asked in the Our Father is it enough to recite it any way at all?
A. To obtain the graces asked in the Our Father we must recite it without haste and with attention; and we must put our heart into it.

45 Q. When should we say the Our Father?
A. We should say the Our Father every day, because every day we have need of God’s help.