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The Lord's Prayer

On March 10, 21 Ursulines joined Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi, on Zoom for a Lenten retreat. Fr. Ron used the Lord's Prayer as a basis for his reflection. He opened the day by saying that the Lord's Prayer is the only prayer that Jesus taught and that it is a communal prayer, because we say "Our Father", not "My Father". Through this prayer we present 11 petitions to "Our Father" whom we can trust completely, who is in heaven, or at the heart of all that is, and who is "holy" or other (transcendent).

In asking for the Kingdom, we ask for justice and peace and then offer our willingness to be obedient as Jesus was obedient. Here, obedience is that of a knight who stands for someone, rather than a hero who furthers his/her own agenda.

We can pray for bread, because we have permission to ask for our bodily needs - but they are to be given, not taken. We acknowledge our sins and ask for forgiveness, aware that God cannot forgive us if we do not forgive each other. And lastly we ask to be protected from obsessions and evils.

In praying the Our Father, we hope to move from paranoia, or a defensive stance as a way to protect ourselves, to metanoia, or a big mind and heart, that is always open to forgiveness.



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