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The Our Father in the Catechesis of Teens
The Catholic Faith ^ | Jan 1998 | Tom Richard

Posted on 06/17/2007 4:26:04 AM PDT by markomalley

The Our Father in the Catechesis of Teens


by Tom Richard, DFF

Introduction

Teens and other “beginners” need to grow in prayer

    A previous article1 discussed the special needs of adolescents for authentic prayer. In their human development, God is drawing them into a natural maturity which needs and deserves a corresponding spiritual maturity. As children, they learned the beautiful formula prayers of our Faith. Entering adulthood, they increasingly need a spirituality — and hence a life of prayer — which keeps pace with their naturally expanding human horizons. The growing intellect of adolescence needs the meaningful encounter with divine truth which is the mark of Christian meditation. The strengthening sense of self in adolescence, with its unique personal will, needs the meaningful encounter with the heart of Christ that is the mark of affective prayer. The deepening desire for community, for genuine relationship, beginning in adolescence truly requires the peaceful solitary rest in His presence that is the mark of the traditional prayer of simplicity. Adolescents, in their natural growing, need spiritual growth: they need to advance in prayer.

    We see too many teenagers leave the Church, in the tumult of their adolescence, in search of meaning! This is a great contradiction, and a cause for embarrassment for us who remain. The prodigal son left, in his freedom: we cannot expect to save everyone the pain of poor choices. But if we fail to offer the bread that is needed, from the vast storehouses of our Catholic tradition, how can we stand guiltless before Him who entrusted us with so much? Fathers and doctors before us have enriched our Church with great depth of understanding of the spiritual journey, and the stages of prayer—relationship with God. Every generation in the Church, beginning with adolescence, in order to grow in relationship with Him and therefore in its own vocation, needs the fullness of that treasury of wisdom.

    Not only adolescents, but many adults in the Church today need guidance in the journey of prayer. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate Spiritual Director, Who chooses, however, to work through the Church. Adults who never found guidance from the Church in prayer, for whatever reason, are poorly equipped to understand their own prayer life or to provide guidance to their children. The result is that many understand prayer to be wholly described by what the tradition of the Church knows as vocal prayer, which is the beautiful yet mere beginning of the journey of the soul toward God.

Stages — or expressions — in prayer

    The Catechism describes the three major expressions of prayer as vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplation.2 Some Catholic writers name two stages within meditation as first that which is appropriate to the intellect, named “meditation,” and then the more interior, simple, and heart-focused meditation named “affective prayer.” At the very entrance to contemplation is a restful waiting, called the acquired prayer of recollection or the prayer of simplicity.3 For the sake of precision, it is helpful to think in these expanded terms: vocal prayer, meditation, affective prayer, the prayer of simplicity.

    Vocal prayer is the first stage of prayer that we learn and enter, the first expression of prayer relationship with God that we experience. It is rightly called a stage, because as it is successfully experienced and expressed, it develops toward the deeper and more intimate communication that is meditation. It is rightly called an expression, because vocal prayer remains a desired means of communication with God no matter how developed or advanced is the soul in the life of prayer. Vocal prayer is the prayer of the Church; it is the voice in our liturgy. Vocal prayer, especially the traditional formula prayers of the Church, allow us to express with united voices our common yet personal utterance to God. We never “graduate” from vocal prayer: rather, progress in the life of prayer enhances with greater depth and more profound meaning, our communal life and our liturgical prayer.

    The character of vocal prayer suggests the necessities within it, in order that it be successful. Those necessities, or requirements for success, suggest the development and the direction in prayer for the soul as it grows toward the Lord. The required, necessary characteristics of vocal prayer are attention and devotion.4 Vocal communication with any person requires attention: one must know who he is, and something of the person to whom he speaks. One must be also alert to the meaning of the words he is using, for the thoughts and intents to be communicated. When there is real relationship between the two persons, or when real relationship is sought, there must also be devotion: genuine affection appropriate to the relationship gives the conversation the human wholeness which any authentic communication deserves. That is, truly human conversation is of two dimensions, reflecting the intellect and the will. Human conversation involves both mind and heart. Vocal prayer as well requires, to be successful, the engagement of the intellect and the will, in attention and devotion.

    Proper attention and devotion in vocal prayer suggest the direction of development in prayer. As conscious attention grows, the soul is moving closer and closer to the prayer of meditation. As devotion grows in vocal prayer, the soul is growing in capacity for deeper devotion in meditation, which is the movement within meditation toward what is called affective prayer. In affective prayer, a communication bond has been established of both mind and heart (intellect and will) with the Lord. The fullness of this expression leads, without contradiction, to both fewer words and greater communication. That is, the prayer of simplicity, in which the soul finds the great delight of quiet rest in the present reality of God, is approached as prayer develops according to its own inner nature.

Helping teens grow in prayer

    Prayer is personal communication; prayer develops as relationship develops. These simple truths are especially relevant and understandable to teens, as they experience — in their growing sense of being a person — the growing need for authentic relationship. There is a straightforward analogy between deepening communication in a growing friendship, and deepening prayer communication in a growing relationship with God.

Initial Stage of Relationship

    The stages or expressions of ascetical prayer just described are easily recognized by teens in their natural quest for meaningful human relationship. Before real relationship has deepened, human conversations are typically superficial. At this stage of relationship there is little or no affection involved: corresponding conversation usually involves information with minimal personal investment. The corresponding initial stage of relationship with God is communicated in the beginning stages of vocal prayer. These beginning attempts at communication reflect the first degree of charity, that attained in the purgative stage, manifested at best as a holy fear of God that moves the soul to avoid sin.5 Such fear is the beginning of wisdom, and is but little on which to base personal relationship. Advancement in charity is needed. Consequently, beginning prayer can manifest a mechanical recitation of formula prayers and guarded, cautious expressions of spontaneous prayer. Shallow relationship is reflected in shallow communication, whether between human persons or between a human person and God.

Intermediate Stage of Relationship

    In human relationships, if two persons discover in their initial conversations a possible ground for deeper relationship, they venture forth with a more personal communication analogous to meditation. That is, their initial talks grow in self-disclosure, to explore thoughts and attitudes regarding truths of personal importance. They investigate what each thinks about this or that matter, searching for opinions and beliefs held in common, or those on which they differ. They seek common ground first in the intellect: they seek a meeting of the mind. In our relationship with God, this engagement of the mind with revealed truth, for enlightenment of the intellect and for guidance of the will, is what we call meditation. This stage of communication in prayer follows the development of attention required in initial vocal prayer, just as deeper exploration of the mind naturally follows the initial conversations of human relationship. This development is quickly understood by teens, and is relevant to them in their personal experience.

    Discovery of a common mind can lead to genuine friendship when there is as well a meeting of the hearts. When the truths found in agreement are recognized as being of personal importance to each of the two, being truths to value and to live by, then a relationship of greater depth becomes possible. A unity of the two in both mind and heart is a basis for true friendship, which is one of the most important needs of adolescence. So also true meditation is meant to lead into a simpler and more interior agreement with God: the resonances with His will which so warm the heart of a person in affective prayer.

Thresholds of Intimacy

    The maturing of friendship can lead to such closeness of persons that merely being together gives happiness. Two who share authentic friendship can sit together for periods of time when no conversation is needed: communion is sensed without words, based on their established knowledge and relationship. This depth of friendship is treasured by adolescents who have it, and wanted by those who do not. God is releasing in them a powerful capacity and desire for intimacy, for a human communion which anticipates their supernatural destiny of communion in the Holy Trinity. Teenagers have then, by God’s work in them, a natural predisposition toward that depth of relationship with Him which finds expression in what we call the prayer of simplicity.

Formula prayers as bridges to deeper prayer relationship

    Formula prayers of the Church are excellent bridges from initial vocal prayer to meditation, and further to affective prayer and the prayer of simplicity. They are doctrinally sound, easily remembered, and common to the family of the Church. Because they are doctrinally sound they are trustworthy: we need not doubt that we are praying with right intention when our minds cohere with these prayers. It is true that their familiarity presents a dangerous temptation: one can easily fall into thoughtless repetition; one can easily follow distractions, losing the necessary attention and devotion. Yet these treasures of our tradition offer us concise and true formulas of the Faith. They invite us into truth in the depths of their simplicity; they challenge us to the zeal, the devotion, that their truth deserves.

    Because they are easily remembered, formula prayers remain with us in times of crisis, when other prayer expressions do not seem available or possible. It is true that adolescents need true engagement of their minds and hearts with divine truth, hence they need deeper prayer beyond initial vocal prayer. The vocal prayers they learned as children are not adequate to communicate fully their emerging adult lives with God, when those prayers are understood at the level of childhood. Yet the formula prayers memorized as children remain with them in crisis times, and can be seized in those times as saving graces from God. It is for two reasons, then, that teens especially need to deepen their understanding of the formula prayers. First, that those prayers may communicate necessary meaning and depth adequate to the crises of adolescence. Second, that those prayers may grow with the adolescent into deeper prayer relationships with God.

    The great formula prayers of the Church are both normative and formative. The Our Father holds the highest place among our formula prayers, being taught by Christ directly. Many holy saints have written beautifully of this prayer, yet never exhausting the mystery and the beauty it contains. The Our Father has the potency necessary to fill all expressions of our ascetical prayer, hence carrying us all (and the adolescent in particular), to the threshold of infused contemplation and into the arms of the Lord.

Other transitions to deeper prayer relationship: Scripture

    Before proceeding with the example of the Our Father, it is good to note the special value of Scripture for our teens, in their need to encounter truth. It is not unusual among Catholic teens, although it is sad and unfortunate, to find so little knowledge of Scripture. Not only is factual knowledge wanting, but the heart-felt devotion which should follow knowledge is lacking also. The life history of many Catholic teens has left them with an ignorance of Catholic doctrine in general and Sacred Scripture in particular. CCD curricula which overemphasized subjective experience at the expense of objective content, although now growing in disfavor, can still be found in use. Attentive parishioners can receive solid and important Catholic teaching in the homily, yet still leave the liturgy without growth in their own personal devotion to Scripture.

    Ignorance of Scripture is a serious problem for Catholic teens for several obvious reasons. Relevant to this paper, they are missing an essential encounter with revealed truth, and a means for their growth in faith. As ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ, to recall St. Jerome, our youth are greatly handicapped in developing a personal relationship with their Lord. If relationship is impeded, so also is prayer.

    Teens need to encounter truth, in increasing scope and depth, for their growth in faith relationship. Scripture, being uniquely the inspired Self-revelation of God, is revealed truth and more. It is indeed God speaking to us, a response to our prayer-communication to Him. “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet His children, and talks with them.”6

    Use of Scripture in teen catechesis, then, is essential. The reality of growing up with Jesus, as He is in truth, as He is revealed to His Church, is the birthright of all baptized Catholics.

Meditation on the Our Father

    The Our Father is a formula prayer of the Church. It is also a formative prayer, at work in the soul , forming the soul that perseveres with it according to its content. That sacred content, delivered to the Apostles by Jesus Himself, will certainly not be exhausted by this paper! Many saints and doctors of the Church have written extensively on this prayer. This paper presents a discussion of the prayer with a special view to adolescents and their needs.

    The need of many teens, in order to advance in a life of prayer, is to increase both the attention and the devotion invested in vocal prayer. They need to slow down and listen to the powerful and meaningful words they are expressing. Those ready to move to meditation need a structure that will enable their time with this prayer to truly engage them with its profundity. Those ready to deepen their meditative prayer, to the simpler and heart-felt communication in affective prayer, need to have opened for them the full call to obedience in holiness which lies within. The Our Father contains the potency of all this and more. Like the Good Shepherd Himself, this prayer would lift and carry us to the home of the Father, and place us at the very door of His contemplative Presence: that is, to the prayer of simplicity.

    The following presentation of the Our Father is intended to facilitate for the teen all of the movements above: to help in a deeper grasp of the meanings of the words, to uncover a structure of truth calling us to know and to follow a life of sanctity, and to find a rest in His call. This movement is the entire sequence of ascetical prayer, leading us to the threshold of infused contemplation. Having knocked, the teen or the soul of any age can wait confidently on the One Who has promised to answer and to open.

    The structure which can be seen in the prayer can be abbreviated 1, 2, 3, 4. This sequence of numbers is interesting in itself, and can be arranged in a triangle.

1.    Formation into Oneness with God, which is our Vocation: Father”

    The Our Father begins with the assertion of great intimacy with God. In the Greek language, the theology is rightly expressed: “Father of us.” That is, first is affirmed our relationship with God, which is expressed as that of child to father. Because this relationship is that of family, we find ourselves speaking in word, in prayer, the reality of the covenant established by Christ in our salvation. Covenant is much more than legal agreement, it is solemn family bond established by oath. In this case, it is a covenant of blood establishing the family of God, brothers and sisters of Christ by adoption.

    Many teens--many persons--have experienced human fathers far less than the Father our hearts are made to long for. This can be a temporary stumbling block, for the young person seeking to hear the deep truth of this prayer. Because of our innate desire for Him, we can and do look beyond failures we may have experienced at the hands of our human fathers, but sometimes a while is needed to do this. This assertion “Father” is at the very beginning of the prayer, as the assertion of the great love of God is at the beginning of the gospel itself. We cannot deal with the sins of others, nor can we bear to see the sins of ourselves, without the gracious assurance of the great love of God.

    The first word of this perfect prayer, then, is our call to God from within the love of His covenant. It is our call in response to His call. Covenant, family communion with Him, is our vocation. This is the “1” of the 1-2-3-4 of the prayer.

2.    Formation with the Two Necessary Commandments: “Our Father”

    Unity with God is our vocation, in which we are formed through the living of Christian life. This life can be summarized, briefly, as life in obedience to the two great commandments, to love God completely and to love one’s neighbor as oneself (Mk 12:39-41). This foundation necessary for life can be heard in the phrase “Our Father”. Through the covenant of His blood, our vocation is to love God completely as “Father.” Through the truth of human relationship affirmed in the word “our,” we are called to love every person.

    The intense sense for fairness which is awakened in teens, finds home in this word “our.” We can affirm the equality of all persons before God, in the sense of justice, with this word “our.” We have no freedom to disregard any person. We are not allowed before God to disrespect, or ignore, or abuse any human person because we are all brothers and sisters by this word “our.” We have always been brothers and sisters through our common ancestry in Adam and Eve, but now even more by His blood. In the New Covenant, all are called and recalled to our Father. This is the “2” of the 1-2-3-4 of the prayer: the two Great Commandments of love.

    As Christ said, "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets" (Matt. 22:40). It is important, in these “relativistic” times, for our teens to ground their moral lives upon the solid foundation of the Commandments of God. In the Morality section of the Catechism, we find the virtues expressed and expounded. But we find also the Ten Commandments set before us by the Church, still valid to judge our lives today.7

3.    Formation with the Three Theological Virtues

    Faith: “Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.”

    Hope: “Thy Kingdom come.”
    Charity: “Thy will be done, on earth as in heaven.”

    The theological virtues infused into the soul at Baptism, strengthened by the other sacraments, order us in our journey toward God and the things of God. The Our Father calls forth these virtues, and works to form the soul in their exercise. The teen is helped in this correspondence, and is encouraged to remember the grace of Baptism and to walk in that grace.

    It is only in faith that we speak to God Who is Spirit and not flesh, Who is not visible or tangible, Who indeed is in heaven. The One we call to in faith: this One we value, indeed His Name we hallow. Faith uniquely is “the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

    In hope alone we look to a kingdom not of this world, but of one to come (Rom 8:24-25). There is a great poverty of hope in our culture, and in our times. Materialism and hedonism have no place for true hope, but only breed despair and negativity which infects even the young. Our teens need true hope. The human soul is made for hope, is given the power to hope in Baptism into Christ, but is deeply wounded by the hopelessness of this culture. The Our Father calls forth and renews true hope in the Kingdom for which we were made, and which is our home.

    Our communion with the will of God brings forth charity upon the earth. What is the will of God? We find in His commandments laws of love, and the more complete the revelation of His will, the more perfect is the standard of love to which we are called. The new commandment, revealed by Christ and first in Him, is the command to love as He loved. But from the beginning His will has been for lives of love: “For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (1 John 3:11).

    Young people are particularly sensitive to the call to love, even to the specific love we understand as charity. Put simply, that charity is love for God and love for others because of God, young people quickly sense the unique meaning of this virtue. They have typically experienced lessor examples of what is called “love,” but what is obviously less than the virtue of charity. Teens quickly grasp what can be termed mercenary love: that which is called love, but is directed toward oneself, and ordered toward one’s own profit or pleasure. They sense the powerful temptations to be mercenary in love, but also they sense the ideal and the beautiful in true charity.

    Faith, hope, and charity as infused virtues are essential to the Christian life. They can be wounded and even lost through sin: this the young Christian must come to understand. Sins against faith, against hope, and against charity are entirely possible to a person above the age of reason, crippling or destroying his journey toward God. Zeal for the good, repentance when fallen, recourse to the Sacrament of Penance, dependence upon the grace of Eucharist -- all these are extremely important to the teenager, and are to be encouraged to him. In the Our Father, he is speaking into being, so to speak, the formation by these virtues which he so needs. This then is the “3” of the 1-2-3-4 of the Our Father.

4.    Formation and Elevation of our Four Natural, Human, Cardinal Virtues

    Temperance: “Give us this day our daily bread”
    Justice: “And forgive us . . . as we have forgiven . . . .”
    Prudence: “And lead us not into temptation.”
    Fortitude: “But deliver us from evil.”

    The Church has traditionally seen all human virtue as being grouped in some way around the headings of the four “cardinal” or hinge virtues.8 It is helpful to any Christian, and particularly to an adolescent in our culture, to see these cardinal virtues called forth by the last four petitions of the prayer. For the adolescent, meaning in the prayer itself is enhanced by this correlation, and sensitivity to the virtues is also increased. Both of these positive results are important for teens who need to grow in their understanding of this fundamental prayer, and who need to advance in a life of virtue. These four virtues, being cardinal, are basic to a life of virtue.

    First, temperance is called forth in the prayer for daily bread. Temperance is anathema in our culture of hedonistic excess, in which our teens find themselves, yet temperance is a virtue which the young soul needs. Teens can be led to meditate on this petition as one which recognizes our material needs, yet which is content with true need and not selfish want. Moderation in anything is valued less and less, as our society grows more outrageous in its cravings for self-satisfaction. In our prayer from Jesus, we form a different attitude, and grow in a different direction.

    Next, the virtue of justice is called forth, strangely, in a call for mercy. We ask for forgiveness as we have forgiven, hence we ask for mercy under the title of justice. This juxtaposition startles us, yet forces us to see the participation in God’s work which is our vocation. Teens, not unlike many adults, can be judgmental: they want justice, they cry out for fairness in the world around them. Justice is good, but our Lord links justice with our real need to be forgiven, and our real vocation to be ministers of the forgiveness of God for others.

    The virtue of prudence is called forth in the petition to be led not into temptation. Teens can well understand the power of temptation: a whole new emotional and sensory world has awakened in them. Prudence is needed; practical reason is called for, lest we lead ourselves into temptations we can not handle. Teenagers face great temptations on many fronts, but perhaps common to many areas of temptation is an attitude among their peers that disdains any reasoned consideration of consequences. Consequences seem somehow unfair, and they dampen one’s fun, and are best ignored. Such fantasies can be deadly to the adolescent, both physically and spiritually, in our contemporary world.

    Lastly, fortitude is called forth in the final petition for deliverance from evil. There is a real enemy of our teenagers: an evil one. We are exhorted, “Be sober; be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). How can we resist him? On our part, we need fortitude. The call to be strong, to be firm in the good, to conquer fear, to face trials and to live sacrificially, these are challenges which the natural bravery of adolescence wants to hear.

Conclusion

    In praying the Our Father, we take our stand on God’s side; we pray with His will, His mind and heart. In this way, in making the prayer of Jesus our own, we offer our souls to be formed according to His truth. As adolescents come to understand the powerful formative potential of this prayer, they realize the great value of a treasure which is already theirs. They know this prayer; all that remains is to experience more and more the infinite depth it offers.

    Catechesis of this prayer with teens demonstrates several things. First, teens are aware that the mindless repetition of memorized prayers seems something less than true prayer. Those teens who have been encouraged toward spontaneous prayer may feel awkward also about this “way” of praying, when they have little experiential relationship with the God to whom they try to speak. Making the analogy of prayer with communication in human relationship is therefore helpful. Teens are acutely aware of, need, and value human relationship. The less-well-understood state of their relationship with God can be better understood, by analysis of their prayer life. Once understood, both their relationship with God and their prayer life are open for improvement.

    Secondly, teens are happy to learn that they can deepen their prayer-relationship very simply: by paying attention to what they are saying in the great formula prayers of the Church, and by being sincere in their prayer. Honesty is important in their human relationships; it is an easy step to acknowledge its importance in prayer as well.

    Lastly, it is difficult to imagine a more important, more beautiful, more meaningful prayer to use as matter for catechesis than the Our Father. We can only be enriched as a Church, we can only help our teenagers, as we enter more fully into the truth of this prayer.


TOPICS: Catholic; Prayer; Theology
KEYWORDS: catechesis; formulaprayer; ourfather; prayer
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1 posted on 06/17/2007 4:26:07 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Looks interesting.


2 posted on 06/17/2007 5:38:29 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.)
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To: markomalley

The problem Mark is only the saved can call God Father.

They need to learn that first, that they need to repent and believe in Christ as their Saviour,without that they are not His.


3 posted on 06/17/2007 8:40:56 AM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: ears_to_hear
The problem Mark is only the saved can call God Father.

They need to learn that first, that they need to repent and believe in Christ as their Saviour,without that they are not His.

Why don't you say plainly what you are implying?

4 posted on 06/17/2007 8:56:52 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: markomalley
Why don't you say plainly what you are implying?

I am just telling you what scripture says

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Jhn 1:9 [That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Jhn 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Jhn 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Jhn 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:
Jhn 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

The only ones that can pray that prayer are those that have come in faith to Christ. To teach young people that they can call God Father based on their humanity, good works or church attendance is to teach error.

5 posted on 06/17/2007 9:58:19 AM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: markomalley

This is great! My husband is reading it now.

My husband and I were talking about the differences in the Mass and his experience growing up as a Methodist.

He remarked about the deep understanding he now has of Scripture after a few years of listening to homilies from the readings and my reading of the Navarre bible with him. He said that that understanding has led him to a much deeper relationship with Jesus and he truly understands now what the Eucharist is. He’s been given a Grace in that he believes.

I’ve been praying for some time for him to become a catechumin and I think he’s very close to doing so.

What a great post! Keep my husband in your prayers, please.


6 posted on 06/17/2007 10:17:14 AM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: ears_to_hear
The only ones that can pray that prayer are those that have come in faith to Christ. To teach young people that they can call God Father based on their humanity, good works or church attendance is to teach error.

I'm still confused. I don't see that the article teaches the opposite than this.

7 posted on 06/17/2007 10:39:38 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: ears_to_hear

Or, is it simply that you object to Catholics saying the “Our Father” (or the Lord’s Prayer, as it is known in certain circles)?


8 posted on 06/17/2007 10:40:37 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: ears_to_hear
•"formula prayer"

•"vocal prayer

•"ascetical prayer"

•"affective prayer"

•"prayer of simplicity"

•"prayer of meditation"

These endless divisions seem like taking a simple subject such as prayer and turning it into legalisms. Christ had a better suggestion.

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name..." -- Matthew 6:5-9


9 posted on 06/17/2007 10:57:09 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: markomalley
Or, is it simply that you object to Catholics saying the “Our Father” (or the Lord’s Prayer, as it is known in certain circles)?

Actually I do not use the Lords prayer as I do not believe that was the intent of the prayer

My point is just what I said it was, not only Catholics seem to miss the fact that the general fatherhood of God to all men is a lie from hell.

God is only Father to those He adopts.

Mark you know that song that says something like "all men are my brothers"? That is not true, it is not biblical and it gives people a false sense of security and relationship with God where there is none. THAT is my point. Teaching it anywhere is an error I do not care if it is a Catholic church or a Methodist one or a Presbyterian or Baptist.

10 posted on 06/17/2007 11:29:32 AM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: markomalley
I'm still confused. I don't see that the article teaches the opposite than this.

The opening line. The unsaved, have no right to call God Father. So before it can be used as a teaching tool the kids should have the scripture expounded on that so they can come to God as their true father

11 posted on 06/17/2007 11:31:57 AM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: ears_to_hear
The opening line. The unsaved, have no right to call God Father. So before it can be used as a teaching tool the kids should have the scripture expounded on that so they can come to God as their true father

You mean this line:

Teens and other “beginners” need to grow in prayer

Or this line:

A previous article1 discussed the special needs of adolescents for authentic prayer.

Again, I am confused. Are you saying that Catholic teens are unsaved and so have no right to say that prayer?

12 posted on 06/17/2007 11:41:24 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: ears_to_hear
Looks like Christ agrees with you.

"I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." -- John 17:9-10


13 posted on 06/17/2007 11:45:48 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: ears_to_hear

In a way yes, and in a way no.

All of mankind can properly be called children of God, insofar as He is the active cause of their existence and are made in His image and likeness.

All those who have been born again are properly said to be children of God, in a deeper, spiritual sense. Through this relationship they call God Father and Christ Brother.


14 posted on 06/17/2007 1:20:08 PM PDT by mockingbyrd (peace begins in the womb)
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To: markomalley
"Our Father who are in heaven"

THAT first line

15 posted on 06/17/2007 5:03:13 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: mockingbyrd
Can you show me where God said he was the Father of all mankind?

After the fall man resembled Adam no longer God

It may make you feel good to believe that God looks on all men as His children, but it just is not so. See how Jesus answered that very point

Jhn 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

Jhn 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, [even] God.

Jhn 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

Jhn 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word.

Jhn 8:44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Jhn 8:45 And because I tell [you] the truth,ye believe me not.

Jhn 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

Jhn 8:47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear [them] not, because ye are not of God.

I would be interested to see your citation where it says "in a general way" all men are the children of God

16 posted on 06/17/2007 5:11:31 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." -- John 17:9-10

Exactly, but people would prefer to read over or ignore that statement because it makes God selective

17 posted on 06/17/2007 5:15:22 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: Tax-chick

bttt


18 posted on 06/17/2007 5:21:05 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.)
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To: ears_to_hear
Can you show me where God said he was the Father of all mankind?

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Jhn 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me

Even though Jesus was saying that they are doing the work of their father and, as I believe, actually descended from Cain who was the son of Satan, wouldn't they still be the children of the original Creator? Their soul belongs to Him.

19 posted on 06/17/2007 5:37:34 PM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: Ping-Pong
Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Sorry no cigar :)

All souls ARE HIS , that does not mean they are His children, Christ will judge those souls and condemn those that are not His to hell with the devils. He is sovereign over the souls of all of His creation . I am in charge of my dog, but he is not my child. This verse my friend is a verse of Judgment not Fatherhood.

All of Gods creation are subject to His will and that includes Satan and I doubt you would call him a son of God

Please present us with a verse that states all men are the children of God

20 posted on 06/17/2007 5:48:42 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: ears_to_hear
All of Gods creation are subject to His will and that includes Satan and I doubt you would call him a son of God

Actually, yes I would. We are all His children, the good, the bad and the ugly. That doesn't mean He won't send some of us to hell but we are still His. If God was not the father of Satan who was? Please don't misunderstand me - We are all created by God, Jesus is God, a whole different "fatherhood".

21 posted on 06/17/2007 6:00:40 PM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: ears_to_hear

((blushes))<— Where’s that blushing smiley when I need him.

Gotcha

Well, FWIW, the kids to whom they are referring are Christian kids. They have experienced regeneration through baptism.

The goal of this article is to teach their teachers how to use the theological truths that are contained within that prayer to inspire the kids to develop a deeper and more intimate prayer life with God, their Father, so that they learn to truly ‘pray without ceasing.’


22 posted on 06/17/2007 6:09:34 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: Ping-Pong
Actually, yes I would. We are all His children, the good, the bad and the ugly. That doesn't mean He won't send some of us to hell but we are still His. If God was not the father of Satan who was? Please don't misunderstand me - We are all created by God, Jesus is God, a whole different "fatherhood".

Show me that in scripture because Jesus does not agree with you . You can believe anything you want but that dies not make it true.

Gen 5:1 ¶ This [is] the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

Gen 5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

Gen 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

Psa 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God.

Psa 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.

If all men are born as the sons of God then Mary did nothing special did she? She just gave birth to another son of God

Luk 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Jhn 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

The children of God are born of the spirit .

23 posted on 06/17/2007 6:20:10 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: markomalley
I know in Catholic theology baptism is regenerative, but scripture is pretty clear on what is needed for son hood and it is not Baptism

It requires more that your parents taking you to church as an infant, it must be a personal decision .

I think using it to teach the nature of God is fine, but at some point you have to confront the fact that something like 25% of Catholics are observant. That means 75% are not. The kids need to hear what it is that the Bible requires of them for son hood.

Good talking to you mark.. just smile like this :)

Interesting that we discuss the Fatherhood of God on Fathers day. I hope yours was good!

24 posted on 06/17/2007 6:25:50 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: ears_to_hear
Interesting that we discuss the Fatherhood of God on Fathers day. I hope yours was good!

It was a fine Father's Day. One of my best ever, in fact.

I know in Catholic theology baptism is regenerative, but scripture is pretty clear on what is needed for son hood and it is not Baptism

It requires more that your parents taking you to church as an infant, it must be a personal decision .

Actually, I do understand what you're saying. Frankly, there's a far more fundamental discussion that would need to happen: that discussion is the efficacy of the sacraments. Does God dispense His grace through the sacraments or do we accomplish those sacraments simply as the matter of obedience to an ordinance?

Not a discussion for tonight, but I think (provided the trolls stay away) it could be an absolutely fascinating discussion. (And if the trolls show up, which they will, they'd need to be simply ignored)

But that is a fundamental difference between Catholics and Protestants, Evangelicals, Charismatics, and Restorationists (I think I captured it properly). And one where there is not unanimity among you "separated brethren," as well on that subject.

I think using it to teach the nature of God is fine, but at some point you have to confront the fact that something like 25% of Catholics are observant. That means 75% are not. The kids need to hear what it is that the Bible requires of them for son hood.

No kidding!

But let me ask you one thing on the subject of son hood.

You ever read the story of the prodigal son? (I'm sure you have...once or twice). Wonderful story of God's forgiveness, imho.

But a couple of questions (rhetorical -- for teaching purposes) came up on that subject for me. #1: What would have happened had the kid not decided to come back home? #2: in that hypothetical, would he have continued to be a son?

Corollary to that there is one more (teaching) question: how does that apply in our lives?

Now I know the answer to those questions. Scriptural answers. But they are through my Catholic filter. I'm always curious to hear how other groups view those questions...through the filter of their belief systems.

25 posted on 06/17/2007 6:57:48 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: markomalley
You ever read the story of the prodigal son? (I'm sure you have...once or twice). Wonderful story of God's forgiveness, imho. But a couple of questions (rhetorical -- for teaching purposes) came up on that subject for me. #1: What would have happened had the kid not decided to come back home? #2: in that hypothetical, would he have continued to be a son?

Reading the "lost "chapter is very interesting

Those that are not familiar with it may want to read it over

Luke 15

One thing we have to notice is all the found things already belonged to the one finding them. It was not a case of one finding a coin or a sheep that was not theirs originally

That is similarly true of the prodigal son

This is a teaching of Gods sovereignty in salvation

The prodigal son was always the son , just as the elect have always been the children of God

Each one of the elect is like the prodigal son in this, that for a time he is deluded by the world and is led astray by his own carnal appetite. He tries to feed on the husks, but they do not satisfy. And sooner or later he is obliged to say, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight."(repentance)

Notice that the text makes this comment

Luk 15:16   "And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving {anything} to him.
Luk 15:17   "But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!

He had a turning, a revelation and he "came to his senses".

And he meets with the same reception, tokens of unchanging love; and a father's welcome voice echoes through the soul, and melts the heart of the poor returning backslider, ---"This my son was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." Let it be noticed that this is a parable that reinforces the work of God in His children . The prodigal was a son, and could not lose that relationship. Those who are not sons never have the desire to arise and go to the Father.

Corollary to that there is one more (teaching) question: how does that apply in our lives?

Have you ever noticed how few people have a real serious interest in the nature and work of God? So many are happy to go through the motions and never examine the nature of God. A priest once told me to always ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in my scripture study. I think that was very wise advise.

I heard one man say may "professing Christians" are busy building idols as they are building the god they want to have in their hearts. They are not worshiping the God as revealed in the scripture. Another man opined that most Christians rebuke and deny the God of scripture because they find him too harsh and judgmental . They want a god that will let them live as they want to live .

When the prodigal son "came to his senses it was a work of the Holy Spirit drawing him to the Father .

The greek word for draw means to do something against your desire as dragging or drawing the water ( that never helps in the process)

THAT is each of us. It was the Holy Spirit that brought me to my senses and showed me the pig pen that was my life.

Now I know the answer to those questions. Scriptural answers. But they are through my Catholic filter. I'm always curious to hear how other groups view those questions...through the filter of their belief systems.

One does not need to believe in predestination to see the truth of the sovereignty of God ( as I do) , one need only see that He has absolute foreknowledge, so He for all time has know all that are His. He knows who He will draw and who will repent and come home

Eph 1:3 ¶ Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Eph 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him

: Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Simply put there was never a doubt that the son would "come to his senses" and be drawn back to his Father

For me it was a moment of truth Mark.. I pray that for all I know :)

I would love a discussion on the sacraments. As a Presbyterian I believe we have 2 as demonstrated in scripture. maybe we can find a quite spot :)

26 posted on 06/17/2007 7:29:57 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: ears_to_hear

Sometimes we tend to forget some of the other aspects of the parable of the Prodigal Son.

The older brother figures in the picture as well-—it seems that his fidelity to his father was not entirely based on love, and because of that, he could not experience a quality of joy at the return of his brother.

We often ask ourselves how we fit the portrait of the prodigal—is it worthwhile sometimes to consider how we may fit the portrait of the older brother? And notice that the father shows his love for both.

Another thing—the prodigal son, being the younger son, by the Hebraic code of family life, was not even entitled to ask for his inheritance. This was to be handed over to the older brother at the proper time, who would then dispense it according to his good will.

That the younger son asked for his inheritance was a disrespectful request according to that culture. The fact that this must have rankled the older brother is another way in which we can search our hearts to see if, by chance, we could have that kind of carnal and fraternal jealousy in our own hearts.

Again—the Father loved them both.


27 posted on 06/17/2007 8:04:40 PM PDT by Running On Empty (1)
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To: Running On Empty; markomalley; All
The Our Father in the Catechesis of Teens

The Lord's Prayer

The “Our Father” of “La Civiltà Cattolica” - (comparison to Muslim version)

Our Father

HOLDING HANDS AT THE OUR FATHER?

Our Father - In Heaven (Dr. Scott Hahn)

The 'Our Father': Appropriate gestures for prayer

Our Father ... in Heaven

Praying: The Lord's Prayer [Read Only]

28 posted on 06/17/2007 10:27:03 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: ears_to_hear
When the prodigal son "came to his senses it was a work of the Holy Spirit drawing him to the Father .

The greek word for draw means to do something against your desire as dragging or drawing the water ( that never helps in the process)

You're talking about ἕλκω in John 12:32? "and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

And, although it is not explicitly stated, I can see how you infer it. But I don't see this as a story of the new birth as much as a story of forgiveness for one who is already a son.

The younger son who took his share of the inheritance was the father's son prior to taking the inheritance. When he was living high in the distant country, he was still the father's son, even though he left. And when he was dealing with the consequences of his actions ("So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything."), he was still the father's son. And when he came back to his senses and went back home, he was still the father's son.

Another interesting thing: the father did NOT go to the distant country, to the fields, or anything else -- or, at least, it's not recorded -- to drag his son back home. The son had to take the initiative to come back home. But, as soon as the son took that initiative, the father came and met him ("But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.")

A couple of things that I infer from this (I believe they are reasonable inferences, too, by the way...but they are inferences):

#1, it is explicit that the father-son relationship remained throughout, even though the son sinned against his father and totally squandered what the father gave him. That calls to mind 1 Pet 1:23 ("You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;")

#2, it is implicit that the father did not grab his son by the collar and drag him, kicking and screaming, back home. He allowed his son to make his own decision, even though that decision was the wrong one.

Inference #1: I can reasonably infer from this that, had the son not come to his senses and made a decision to come back home (for example, had the son thought to himself, "I have sinned against heaven and before my father. He will never welcome me back. Oh, woe is me,") there is no indication that the father would have forced the decision.

Inference #2: Thus, had the son finally starved to death in the distant country, he would have starved to death.

However, none of what the son did changed his state of being the father's son. The son voluntarily removed himself from his father's presence by his actions...but that didn't change the underlying fact that he continued as his son.

That is, at least IMHO, an important lesson to consider when we talk about whether a person is born again in baptism or whether they are saved in baptism.

As you know, the Church teaches baptismal regeneration. Ex opere operato (in the doing of it). The Church teaches that, in baptism, all previous sins, actual or imputed (i.e., original sin), are utterly washed away. A person becomes a son of God at that point in time. However, that does not remove the responsibility to live as a son of God. God gives us the graces to do so and His Mercy provides us a way back if we make the decision to walk away, realize the error of our ways, and then decide to come back.

Have you ever noticed how few people have a real serious interest in the nature and work of God? So many are happy to go through the motions and never examine the nature of God. A priest once told me to always ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in my scripture study. I think that was very wise advise.

Yes, I have noticed this in a whole lot of folks who call themselves Christians.

I heard one man say may "professing Christians" are busy building idols as they are building the god they want to have in their hearts. They are not worshiping the God as revealed in the scripture. Another man opined that most Christians rebuke and deny the God of scripture because they find him too harsh and judgmental . They want a god that will let them live as they want to live .

LOL -- I agree fully, no matter what your religious affiliation is, that is absolutely a true statement.

29 posted on 06/18/2007 3:55:59 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: ears_to_hear
Show me that in scripture because Jesus does not agree with you . You can believe anything you want but that does not make it true.

Matthew 6:9. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father Which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Matthew 5:45. That ye may be the children of your Father Which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;
15.But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

There is a distinction in our heavenly Father and our earthly father. As vs. 15 shows, even when we err He is still our Father.

Psa 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God.

Because we are "children of men" does not mean He is not our Father, our heavenly Father.

If all men are born as the sons of God then Mary did nothing special did she? She just gave birth to another son of God

A virgin birth is special. He is The Son of God, or God Himself - "When you've seen the Son you've seen the Father". We are children of God through our earthly fathers but He was Son of God and Son of man, through The Father.

The children of God are born of the spirit.

I believe we are all "children of God" as He is our heavenly Father but in order to receive eternal life with Him we must believe on Him. Whether that comes in this age or the next, millennial age, or never, is our choice.

30 posted on 06/18/2007 5:39:56 AM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: markomalley

Sometimes I have to stop and think about a single line of that prayer. It’s anything but mindless repitition. I should say, if you’re mindlessly repeating it, you might as well sit down and have a coke - you’re wasting time.


31 posted on 06/18/2007 6:06:50 AM PDT by ichabod1 ("Liberals read Karl Marx. Conservatives UNDERSTAND Karl Marx." Ronald Reagan)
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To: ears_to_hear
it must be a personal decision.

A personal decision or a personal awareness?

32 posted on 06/18/2007 6:39:30 AM PDT by GoLightly
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To: markomalley

Okay, I had to print it out! They need a “printer-friendly” option on the site :-).


33 posted on 06/18/2007 6:44:31 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.)
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To: ears_to_hear
Gen 5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

Their name adam, plural. Adam is both a proper name for one individual, "the Man", Adam, but when it is clear in context that we're talking about more than one individual it is "men". If he had been talking about Adam & Eve to find the plural, you'd see that the passage would be calling Eve Adam, not just Adam Adam. Check the word "adam" in a concordance.

Whether the understanding of it to be "men" is all inclusive or "mankind" depends on the way you understand "created". Was creation of mankind a one time thing or is it something that is ongoing? The sixth day & then a day of rest... plus or the sixth day all men were created, (tho not all of them have been born or reborn in water, through their mother's womb) into this this earthly life?

34 posted on 06/18/2007 6:57:43 AM PDT by GoLightly
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To: Running On Empty
Indeed you are correct, remember James and Joses mother asking for a special place for her children in the kingdom .

I think the other son shows that sometimes our "righteousness" can be sin :)

35 posted on 06/18/2007 7:14:08 AM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: Ping-Pong
"Matthew 6:9. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father Which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Matthew 5:45. That ye may be the children of your Father Which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

LOL Ping, that is what started the discussion

All scripture has to be read in context, you need to look at the time, the place and the audience.

It was the disciples of Christ that asked him how to pray. GOD WAS THEIR FATHER .

This does not say He is the father of all humanity .

Because you have a theology where sin can send you to hell, and salvation depends on your law keeping you see sin as breaking the relationship between Father and Son.

The scriptures indicate the opposite, He is still the father to the saved.

Because we are "children of men" does not mean He is not our Father, our heavenly Father.

Just show me a scripture that God says He is the father of all humanity . There is no such scripture. Those that believe that are building a non scriptural God that meets their expectations . He is not the God of the bible.

Again PING, you are free to believe what you like, but what we believe is not the test of truth the word of God is, and in it he says

Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];

Jhn 8:44 — Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Act 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

All the human children of God are adopted by faith.

36 posted on 06/18/2007 7:30:52 AM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: Running On Empty
That the younger son asked for his inheritance was a disrespectful request according to that culture. The fact that this must have rankled the older brother is another way in which we can search our hearts to see if, by chance, we could have that kind of carnal and fraternal jealousy in our own hearts.

I think it also reveals the spirit of envy, which causes us to compare ourselves with others.

37 posted on 06/18/2007 7:34:01 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.)
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To: Tax-chick; Running On Empty; ears_to_hear
I think it also reveals the spirit of envy, which causes us to compare ourselves with others.

I would add that the older son was counting on his own abilities to justify himself before his father. While the younger one was justified by grace. He asked for, and received, mercy from his father and his father bestowed graces on him that exceeded his wildest expectations.

Wonderful analogy for all of us to consider.

38 posted on 06/18/2007 9:04:24 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: markomalley; Running On Empty; ears_to_hear
his father bestowed graces on him that exceeded his wildest expectations.

Worth repeating!

Who knows what graces our Father wants to give us ... if we could get past sibling rivalry and desire Him with all our hearts!

39 posted on 06/18/2007 9:09:12 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.)
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To: Tax-chick

BTW, that was a rhetorical “Who knows ...” rather than a request-for-information, “Who knows?”.


40 posted on 06/18/2007 9:10:14 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.)
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To: ichabod1
Sometimes I have to stop and think about a single line of that prayer. It’s anything but mindless repitition.

That is one thing that the article is stating. The prayer, in of itself, is a tremendous catechesis.

Did you realize that the final 100 paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is written around that prayer? Just a little trivia for you there...

I should say, if you’re mindlessly repeating it, you might as well sit down and have a coke - you’re wasting time.

I sort of agree with you, but not exactly. The repeated words, in of themselves, do not accomplish anything of themselves (they are not an incantation), but...

As an example, my family prays the blessing before every meal: Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

You're absolutely right that those words have little or no meaning in of themselves. But think about the catechesis behind those words:

Do we go through that little catechesis every night? No. Have we gone through it? Yes. Do we take long and forever praying that each night? No. Do those things (at least part of them) come to mind as we pray that? Yes, certainly.

And that is my point: if you take a few minutes and consider what it is that you're praying, you will mentally call to mind these things as you pray that verbal prayer. You will certainly turn your eyes to God when you do so.

That, in of itself, has value.

But, again, the words, in of themselves, if they are simply prayed without thought, without consideration, without turning your mind and heart toward God, are not going to have meaning.

41 posted on 06/18/2007 9:30:04 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: ears_to_hear
Because you have a theology where sin can send you to hell, and salvation depends on your law keeping you see sin as breaking the relationship between Father and Son.

I don't think sin sends someone to hell or that salvation depends on keeping His law. I do think you need to repent of your sins to be in "good standing" with Father. Salvation depends on if you accept Jesus or not. However, I don't believe in "once saved always saved". I think you can turn your back on Him - He will never leave you but we can leave Him.

How would "sin break the relationship between Father and Son"?

Just show me a scripture that God says He is the father of all humanity . There is no such scripture. Those that believe that are building a non scriptural God that meets their expectations . He is not the God of the bible.

Is there a scripture that says he is NOT the Father of all humanity? Please explain how I am building a "non scriptural God to meet my expectations" by believing He, as the Creator, is Father to all. How does that make Him, "not the God of the Bible"?

Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];....Jhn 8:44 — Ye are of [your] father the devil

I too believe the tares are the children of Satan, through Cain. He is their earthly ancestor but isn't God, as creator of all, the Heavenly Father of all?

I see what you are saying, " All the human children of God are adopted by faith." I guess we just have to disagree about this. I see all as being born with Him being their heavenly Father. What we do in our life, the decisions we make decide whether we will be with Him or not.

To me it would be like us having several children. Some may love us and always want to be with us while others decide they want nothing to do with Dad and Mom. Would that decision make them any less our child? Also, even if you greatly loved a child but they continued to do terrible things and would not repent you would not allow them to enter your home with your other children. They're still your child but they have essentially been disowned. I think that is the position of the "tares" in the scripture you quoted. If they repent they would be accepted back.

This is an interesting discussion Ears to Hear - Thank you

......Ping

42 posted on 06/18/2007 10:41:29 AM PDT by Ping-Pong
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To: markomalley
Teens and other “beginners” need to grow in prayer

I wasn't a "beginner" when I hit 13. Makes the rest a bit suspect.

43 posted on 06/18/2007 10:43:59 AM PDT by Larry Lucido (Duncan Hunter 2008 (or Fred Thompson if he ever makes up his mind))
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To: markomalley

“Our Father...” Good Hebrew prayer.


44 posted on 06/18/2007 10:54:22 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: Tax-chick; markomalley; ears_to_hear

Thanks for adding so much to the understanding of the roles of both sons in this parable. It’s interesting how somewhat frequently in Scripture the contrasts of sons (or sisters/brothers) are there to help us reflect on both sides of a parable, or an actual incident in Scripture.

Just to mention two—Martha and Mary, both having something to teach us about serving the Lord; and the parable of the two brothers, each of whom said they would do a special job for their father.

We are always able to view the contrasts and take into our hearts certain lessons that each can give us. All three of you have added thoughts to this parable that gave me new insights to consider.

Thanks much.


45 posted on 06/18/2007 11:14:56 AM PDT by Running On Empty (1)
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To: Larry Lucido
I wasn't a "beginner" when I hit 13. Makes the rest a bit suspect.

Well, good for you! I'm glad that God has blessed you with such a tremendous gift. I'm also glad that God has given you the confidence to declare boldly that you've been granted such a tremendous grace in your life.

By the way, the above is honest admiration, not sarcasm. If you were not a "beginner" when you hit 13, I can only imagine how powerful your prayer life is now.

As for me, I was pretty much a beginner until I hit 40 or so. In many ways, I still am. So I guess there's room for both sides. You know, I still have to humbly ask God for the grace to give me the words to say when I verbally pray? You know, I still have to humbly ask God to enlighten my eyes when I open the scriptures? You know, when I meditate on a scripture or silently pray and open my heart to God's majesty in adoration, there are times that I still get distracted?

It is my fervent wish that someday I could honestly and without being a braggart call myself a true prayer warrior. But until that time, I just have to humbly go my way, trusting God to provide for me moment by moment. And for somebody like me, the use of such an article could have provided considerable insight when I was a youth.

46 posted on 06/18/2007 11:34:22 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: markomalley

Not meant that way. My folks taught more than rote prayer growing up, so it was always more than mere recitation (except for grace, which was always “Bless us oh Lord and these thy gifts etc).

But you never become an “expert” by any means. It’s a journey.


47 posted on 06/18/2007 11:38:31 AM PDT by Larry Lucido (Duncan Hunter 2008 (or Fred Thompson if he ever makes up his mind))
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To: markomalley; ichabod1
if they are simply prayed without thought, without consideration, without turning your mind and heart toward God, are not going to have meaning

Honestly, unless one is repeating words in a foreign language of which one has no knowledge (as, for example, I could sing a song in memorized Gaelic, with no idea what the words meant), then it seems impossible for the use of the words to have no connection at all to the contemplation of the meaning and intention.

Yes, one's mind can drift, but even to begin saying the Our Father, one had to have the intention of raising the heart and mind to "Our Father, who are in Heaven."

48 posted on 06/18/2007 11:38:33 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.)
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To: Tax-chick
Honestly, unless one is repeating words in a foreign language of which one has no knowledge (as, for example, I could sing a song in memorized Gaelic, with no idea what the words meant), then it seems impossible for the use of the words to have no connection at all to the contemplation of the meaning and intention.

Yes, one's mind can drift, but even to begin saying the Our Father, one had to have the intention of raising the heart and mind to "Our Father, who are in Heaven.

And that's exactly my point. Even a recited prayer (like a Psalm) turns the pray-er's heart to the object of that prayer.

49 posted on 06/18/2007 11:42:39 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: Running On Empty
It’s interesting how somewhat frequently in Scripture the contrasts of sons (or sisters/brothers) are there to help us reflect on both sides of a parable, or an actual incident in Scripture.

That's true! Having so many sons, I often reflect on brothers in the Bible, and wonder what the odds are for mine to turn out well :-).

It's interesting that the conflict between brothers is the first development after the Fall, and that it seems to manifest so early in life. I was reading to some of my sons earlier, with my 1-year-old sitting beside me. The 3-year-old came up and put his head on my knee, and his brother immediately shrieked and whacked him on the head with the book! (Didn't hurt him, James has a head like a cinder block.) My three youngest boys can be like puppies fighting over a bone sometimes.

50 posted on 06/18/2007 11:45:42 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.)
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