“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
How does the infinite God speak to humankind? Isaiah 55 says God’s speech is like rain. “Thus says the LORD: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down And do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, Giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.”
Creation and God’s Word run parallel in their purpose.
The infinite creator God spoke, and in part, we understand. Psalm 19 pictures God’s word standing on the shoulders of nature. God planted the seeds of His kingdom vision in both nature and mankind. When Thomas Aquinas wrote, “Although man is inclined to an end by nature, yet he cannot attain that end by nature, but only by grace because of the exalted character of the end,” he was echoing Ephesians 2:8 . “for by Grace You are saved.
The great Aquinas believed prayer was the great interpreter of our desires as we expose ourselves to God. Prayer is God’s way of directing our paths to the last day when we appear before Christ’s judgment seat (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10).
Augustine, one of the smartest guys who ever lived, adapts the seven gifts of the Spirit (cf. Isaiah 11) and the Beatitudes (cf. Matthew 5) with the seven petitions of the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:7-15).
- “If it is fear God whereby blessed are the poor in spirit, let us ask that God’s name be hallowed among men with a chaste fear.
- If it is piety whereby blessed are the meek, let us ask that His kingdom may come, so that we become meek and no longer resist Him.
- If it is knowledge whereby blessed are they that mourn, let us pray that His will be done, for thus we shall mourn no more.
- If it is fortitude whereby blessed ere they that hunger, let us pray that our daily bread be given to us.
- If it is counsel whereby blessed are the merciful, let us forgive the trespasses of others that our own may be forgiven.
- If it is understanding whereby blessed are the pure in heart, let us pray lest we have a double heart by seeking after worldly things which ere the occasion of our temptations.
- If it is wisdom whereby blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God, let us pray to be delivered from evil: for if we be delivered we shall by that very fact become the free children of God.”
Another genius, Origen wrote: “And as we say “Our Father,” because He is the Father of those who understand and believe, so also we call it “our bread,” because Christ is the Bread of those who are in union with His Body. And we ask that this Bread be given to us daily, that we who are in Christ and daily receive the Eucharist for the food of salvation may not, by the interposition of some heinous sin, be prevented from receiving Communion and from partaking of the heavenly Bread and be separated from Christ’s body?” (btw, Did you know the Church Fathers were unanimous in thinking “bread” referred to communion? )
When I stand before Christ, it won’t be much help if I quote Augustine, Aquinas or Origin.
When I stand before Christ, it won’t be much help if I quote Augustine, Aquinas or Origin. The infinite creator became man so all of us might stand before Christ every day in prayer so that on our last day to hear His words, “well done.”
How do you have a personal relationship with Christ? In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus asks us to “pray that our daily bread be given to us.” In John 6, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert, and have died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that if anyone eats of it, he will not die. … If anyone eats of this bread he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world” (Jn 6,48-51).
Eating “our daily Bread” is the gateway to a personal relationship with Christ.
Everything you will ever need is located in the Eucharist. St. Cyril of Jerusalem said, “Since Christ Himself has said, “This is My Body” who shall dare to doubt that It is His Body? Literary genius, J.R.R. Tolkien to his son Michael: “Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament. . .there you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth, and more than that: Death. By the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste – or foretaste – of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man’s heart desires.”
Are you looking for a personal relationship with Christ? The Lord’s Prayer is the Perfect Prayer and Perfect Meal to begin your journey.
Remember, It’s Never to Late to Begin Your Journey 2 Faith.