2014 - Vol. 73
Privilege and Responsibility
Calling God Father
a sermon by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
For the Savior said, “When you pray, say, ‘Our
Father.’ ” And another of the holy Evangelists adds, “who art in heaven.”…
He gives his own glory to us. He raises slaves
to the dignity of freedom. He crowns the human condition with such honor
as surpasses the power of nature. He brings to pass what was spoken of
old by the voice of the psalmist: “I said, you are gods, and all of you
children of the Most High.” (Psalm 82:6) He rescues us from the measure
of slavery, giving us by his grace what we did not possess by nature, and
permits us to call God “Father,” as being admitted to the rank of sons.
We received this, together with all our other privileges, from him. One
of these privileges is the dignity of freedom, a gift peculiarly befitting
those who have been called to be sons.
He commands us, therefore, to take boldness and
say in our prayers, “Our Father.” We, who are children of earth and slaves
and subject by the law of nature to him who created us, call him who is
in heaven “Father.” Most fittingly, he enables those who pray to understand
this also. Since we call God “Father” and have been counted worthy of such
a distinguished honor, we must lead holy and thoroughly blameless lives.
We must behave as is pleasing to our Father and not think or say anything
unworthy or unfit for the freedom that has been bestowed on us….
The Savior of all very wisely grants us to call
God “Father,” that we, knowing well that we are sons of God, may behave
in a manner worthy of him who has honored us. He will then receive the
supplications that we offer in Christ.
[COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 71]
on the Lord's Prayer
Privilege and Responsibility of Calling God Father, by Cyril of Alexandria
Our Father, by Cyril of Jerusalem
art in Heaven, by Gregory of Nyssa
by thy Name, by Origen
Kingdom Come, by Origen
will be done, by Origen
us our daily bread, by Gregory of Nyssa
us our trespasses, by Cassian
lead us not into temptation, by Origen
deliver us from evil, by Cyprian of Carthage