St. Cyprian on the Our Father

The Office of Readings today contains the writings of St. Cyprian on the Our Father.  He focuses on the words, “Holy be your Name.” 

He notes that God’s name is already holy, so holy in fact that we would dare not utter it unless bidden to do so by God himself, and we do so because we are adopted sons and daughters of the Lord.

What, then, are we praying when we pray, “Hallowed be thy Name”?

Cyprian reminds us, in answer to this question, that by the grace of baptism, we become temples of God.  God lives in us.  Our continual prayer and effort in life is to keep undefiled the divine life within us.

We are praying actually, that we retain our sanctity.  That we remain both in the image and likeness of God.  That we not blemish the temple of God, which we are, with sin. 

To quote Cyprian, “… we ask him day and night to keep us in that sanctity and that life that comes from his grace.” (Cyprian, Nn. 12: CSEL 3, 275)

When you pray the Our Father next time, keep in mind that in a certain sense, you are praying for yourself as a son or daughter of God when you say, “Hallowed be thy Name!”

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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