2014 - Vol. 73
the Lord's Prayer
a sermon by Gregory of Nyssa, 4th century
Who Art in Heaven
These words I think have a very deep meaning. They remind us of
the homeland we have abandoned, of the citizenship we have lost.
In the parable of the young man who left his father's house, went
off the rails and was reduced to living with pigs, the Word of God shows
us human wretchedness. That young man did not find his one-time happiness
again until he had realized his moral degradation, had looked into his
own heart and had pronounced the words of confession.
These words almost agree with the Lord's Prayer, because the prodigal
son says: `Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.' (Luke
15:21) He would not confess himself to be a sinner against heaven if he
were not convinced that the homeland he had left at the time of his going
astray were not in actual fact heaven.
By this confession of his he makes himself worthy once again to
stand in the presence of his father who runs towards him, embraces him,
and kisses him.
The conclusion is this. To return to heaven there is only one route
and that is to admit one's sinfulness and seek to avoid it. To make the
decision to avoid it is already to be perfecting one's likeness to God.
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