All in the “Our Father”

All in the “Our Father”

 by Sr. Prisca Ovat, MMM  Kenya  05.11.2021

moon at night“Like the experience of the disciples on their way to Emmaus, whose hearts were burning as Jesus explained the scriptures, so too my heart inflamed meditating on the Lord’s prayer. And for the first time in my life, I felt I had only learnt how to pray as a Christian and religious. This luminous experience was made fruitful through the spiritual accompaniment of my retreat guide” – Bishop Rodrigo Mejia, SJ.

In the Lord’s prayer, we learn, unlearn, and relearn to pray, so as to live. I had to purify first an inner rebellion. Why is God portrayed as our father and not mother? Providence and protection were keywords that clarified my curiosity, although I never overlooked his tender, loving and ever-caring motherly attributes. The focus is heaven. And because his name personifies holiness, the longing for his kingdom and will on earth as it is in heaven intensifies. But, instead of keying into this divine plan, we create a different earth due to our choices. Where lies my responsibility? It is in an authentic prayer life that transcends the self to embrace others. And so, I ask God for our daily bread so that whatever I seek for the self may also benefit others.

I never for once thought that receiving forgiveness is a difficult enterprise. Is it genuine or simply to avoid pestering? The flooding experience of God’s forgiveness motivates me never to withhold from seeking or doubting forgiveness received. Forgiving one another simply means giving opportunity to consider our frail humanity, surpassing resentment/vengeance, and imitating the divine. Certainly, everyone has been and will, at some point, be wounded. Some experiences cut deeply that we invest a lot of energy in self-protection from further hurt. But what is Christianity without the Cross?

We do not deliberately ask for the cross; it chooses us. But as for temptation, our uncontrolled desires often trigger it. And sometimes, God plays along to ascertain the tenacity of our faith. The main lesson here is waiting, avoiding the Abbot’s prayer: “Lord, please give me patience, but immediately.” When patience wanes, and ambition intensifies, evil becomes charming to the eyes and mind. Only our Father is then capable of purifying and taming our hearts from conceiving and bringing evil to birth and maturity. And so, in all, I say: “Lord, let it be.” Not because I fully understand all your plans, but because I am willing to offer myself for your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.