Today’s Thoughts: Each time I encounter today’s Gospel, Jesus teaching the disciples to pray the Our Father, I can feel the emotions well up within me. For you see I have two special memories that center on this prayer.
The first is that the Our Father was one of the last prayers I prayed with my father before he died 35 years ago. It was a December night in 1982, I was in my father’s hospital room late that night and as I was about to leave he asked me to pray with him. I was more than happy to do so and I asked him what prayer he wanted to pray and he said, “The Our Father.”
I began to say the words and notice that my dad was not praying so I stopped and asked what was wrong. Dad said, “I don’t remember the words.” His illness had begun to affect his mind. So, I said, “No problem” and suggested that I say a few words of the prayer and that he repeat them after me. Do you know how hard it is to say the Our Father when you have to stop and think about what you are saying? Well, we got through the prayer and dad became very peaceful and for the most part remained peaceful over the last few weeks of his life. I have always remembered that moment.
The second is that this Gospel was the Gospel for the very first mass I celebrated the day after I was ordained a priest. The last prayer I prayed with my Father, the first Gospel I had an opportunity to reflect upon as a priest. Do you think my dad had something to do with it? You bet!
I have never prayed the Our Father at mass, during the rosary or at any other time and not thought about these two moments in my life. What power there is in this simple prayer, what a gift this simple prayer is to all who pray it.
I would invite you at some moment today to pause and slowly, deliberately pray the Our Father. Listen to the words. Realize what God offers you through the words of this simple prayer and what God asks of you.
By the way thanks Dad! Have a great Thursday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...