During Mass, to lead the congregation into the prayer of the Our Father, you may have noticed the priest says, “We dare to pray…” This may seem strange to us, as the Our Father is one of the most common Christian prayers. In fact, when asked how we should pray, Jesus Himself gave us the Our Father. So why is it daring that we should pray it?
Recently on Go Ask Your Father™ (Relevant Radio), Monsignor Stuart Swetland focused his Catechetical Corner segment on this topic. He said:
“Why are we concerned to say this is a daring thing to do – to call God our Father? The Catechism addresses that in paragraph 2777. And it goes right back to what we know from Sacred Scripture. For example, from the encounter that Moses had with God in the burning bush. It says:
From the burning bush Moses heard a voice saying to him, “Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. – Exodus 3:5
There is an awesomeness in God, and God transcends us. He is greater than any concept of Him, He is greater than we can imagine, than we can think. And the Catechism reminds us:
Only Jesus could cross that threshold of the divine holiness, for “when he had made purification for sins,” he brought us into the Father’s presence: “Here am I, and the children God has given me” (paragraph 2777).
Jesus has made it possible for us to call God our Father. It would be an arrogant boast for us to do so if we had not, in fact, been made God’s children by the grace of God. For Jesus, the only Son of the Father has extended to us the invitation of being adopted children, sons and daughters in the Son.
Because of what He has done for us, it is possible for us to truly say that God is our Father. And a corollary to that is that means we are brothers and sisters. In fact, not just in metaphor, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Any baptized person is a brother or sister. And any unbaptized person is a potential brother or sister that we should work to bring the saving waters of baptism.
And so we dare to pray when we say “Our Father”.
Read more in the “Why Do We Do That?” series from Deacon Mike Fritz.