2014 - Vol. 73
the Lord's Prayer
the writings of Cassian, 4th century
Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive
those who trespass against
The mercy of God is beyond description. While he is offering us a model
prayer he is teaching us a way of life whereby we can be pleasing
in his sight.
But that is not all. In this same prayer he gives us an easy method
for attracting an indulgent and merciful judgment on our lives. He gives
us the possibility of ourselves mitigating the sentence hanging over us
and of compelling him to pardon us. What else could he do in the face of
our generosity when we ask him to forgive us as we have forgiven our neighbor?
If we are faithful in this prayer, each of us will ask forgiveness
for our own failings after we have forgiven the sins of those who have
sinned against us. I mean those who have sinned against us, not only those
who have sinned against our Master.
There is, in fact, in some of us a very bad habit. We treat our sins
against God, however appalling, with gentle indulgence: but when by contrast
it is a matter of sins against us ourselves, albeit very tiny ones, we
exact reparation with ruthless severity.
Anyone who has not forgiven from the bottom of the heart the brother
or sister who has done him wrong will only obtain from this prayer his
own condemnation, rather than any mercy. It will be his own action that
draws a much more severe judgment on himself, seeing that in effect by
these words we are asking God to behave as we have behaved ourselves.
[Breviario Patristico © 1971 Piero Gribaudi Editore, Turin, Italy;
translated by Paul Drake]
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