A Reflection on The Lord’s Prayer and the SacramentsJuly 30, 2012 No Comments
July 30, 2012 / MariaNews.com
A Reflection on
The Lord’s Prayer and the Sacraments
By Deacon Antonio Sandoval
The Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father, is the perfect prayer given to us by Jesus. But to reap the rich fruits of this prayer we must be living a sacramental life. Only by living the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation can we really plumb the sacred meaning of the words, “Our Father”. In Baptism we are born again by water and the Holy Spirit, and become the adopted sons and daughters of the Father, the adopted brothers and sisters of Jesus and the children of Mary. “Confirmation is the completion of baptismal grace because by Confirmation we are bound more fully to the Church, and enriched by a special strength of the Holy Spirit” (CCC #1285). “[God] incorporates us into the Body of Christ through the anointing of the Spirit who flows from the head to the members and makes us other ‘Christs’” (CCC #2782)
We live the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation by being other “Christs” in the world. The most outstanding virtue of Jesus was doing the will of his Father in Heaven, even when it meant accepting death on the Cross, for our salvation. We, too, must always do the will of our Heavenly Father. Our renunciation of Satan and the consecration of ourselves to the Father through Jesus must not be a once in a while event, but rather a way of life of which we are reminded every time we make the sign of the Cross. If the promises of our Baptism and Confirmation are being lived in our lives, saying, “Our Father who art in Heaven”, will reflect an actual reality which will have a special meaning for us, and no doubt will confer special graces.
When we say, “Give us this day our daily bread”, the fullest blessing of the Lord’s Prayer is realized if the “daily bread” we desire most is the Eucharist, the Living Bread from Heaven, “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium #11). We live the Sacrament of the Eucharist when we constantly affirm our belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in this sacrament, and receive him as often as we can. I have heard that the Saints have three things in common: their love for Jesus in the Eucharist, their love for the Blessed Virgin Mary, and their love for the Church. We live the Sacrament of the Eucharist when we nurture a deep love for Jesus in the Eucharist and never allow the flame of this love to dim or extinguish. Now when we say, “Give us this day our daily bread” God knows that we are hungering to receive the greatest gift He desires for us to have.
When we say, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”, we are referring to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Can we sincerely ask our Father to forgive us our trespasses if we seldom or very infrequently go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the ordinary means for the forgiveness of sins? On the evening of the Sunday of Resurrection Jesus appeared to his apostles and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit, if you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven” (John 20:22-23). Living the Sacrament of Reconciliation requires that we work perpetually on the formation of conscience, so that we will have an acute sensitivity of sin in our lives. It requires that we forgive those who sin against us. It requires that we frequent the confessional on a regular basis to receive the forgiveness we request in the Lord’s Prayers by the means that Jesus Christ provided for us.
May the Sacraments give meaning to our prayers, and our prayers strengthen our sacramental life.
Read more by Deacon Antonio here
Antonio is a retired deacon in the Archdiocese of Denver. Last September his wife, Maud, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer. They were told that she didn’t have long to live. Since she is 83 years old, they decided to refuse the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Last October they were sent to Hospice. They have now been there for 8 months. Antonio’s wife is not experiencing the symptoms of multiple myeloma other than the fact that she cannot move and has to stay in bed all the time. She is also in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease. You prayers will be appreciated. Antonio spends the entire day with his wife.
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