April/May 2014 - Vol. 73

On the Lord's Prayer

From the writings of Cassian, 4th century

And lead us not into temptation

The request `Lead us not into temptation' raises a difficult problem. If we pray God not to allow us to be tempted, what opportunity shall we have to give him proof of our steadfastness and fidelity? For it is written: `Blessed is the one who endures temptation and overcomes it.' (cf. James.1:12)

Then what is the meaning of this phrase? It does  not mean: do not allow us to come into temptation. It means: when we come into temptation, let us not be defeated by it. Job was tempted but he did not give way to the temptation. In fact, he did not accuse the divine Wisdom, he did not go down the road of blasphemy to which the Tempter wanted to attract him.

Abraham was tempted, and Joseph was tempted. But neither one nor the other yielded to the temptation, because neither of them said `yes' to the Tempter. So praying the Lord's Prayer is like saying: `Together with the temptation, give us also the strength to overcome it.' (1 Corinthians 10:13)

[Breviario Patristico © 1971 Piero Gribaudi Editore, Turin, Italy; translated by Paul Drake]

Commentary on the Lord's Prayer

» The Privilege and Responsibility of Calling God Father, by Cyril of Alexandria
» God  Our Father, by Cyril of Jerusalem
» Who art in Heaven, by Gregory of Nyssa
» Hallowed by thy Name, by Origen
» Thy Kingdom Come, by Origen
» Thy will be done, by Origen
» Give us our daily bread, by Gregory of Nyssa
» Forgive us our trespasses, by Cassian
» And lead us not into temptation, by Origen
» But deliver us from evil, by Cyprian of Carthage

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