Saint John XXIII
October 11, 2017
Readings of the day: RB 8Mass: Jonah 4:1-11; Resp. Psalm 86; Luke 11:1-4
Jesus taught the disciples many things, sometimes using words, other times not. As far as I know the disciples only asked Jesus once to teach them anything at all. Today they ask the Lord to teach them to pray. It seems a reasonable request considering they, with us, don’t know how to pray as we ought (Romans 8:26). Jesus doesn’t waste time, stating clearly,When you pray, say:Father, hallowed by your name,your Kingdom come.Give us each day our daily breadand forgive us our sinsfor we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,and do not subject us to the final test.
This prayer we know as the Lord’s Prayer, what Thomas Aquinas calls a most perfect prayer (Summa, II-II, q. 83, art. 9). Aquinas explains in these words: “The Lord’s Prayer is most perfect, because as Augustine says, ‘if we pray rightly and fittingly, we can say nothing else but what is contained in this prayer of Our Lord.’”LORD, PLEASE TEACH US TO PRAY.
Speaking of prayer, today Saint Benedict begins his eleven chapters devoted to the ins and outs of praying the Divine Office in a monastic community. The Divine Office, also called the Liturgy of the Hours, is the official prayer of the Church. A beautiful and most instructive presentation on the theology of the Liturgy of the Hours can be found in the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, Ch. 1, para. 1-19, found online, or in Volume I, The Liturgy of the Hours According to the Roman Rite, pp. 21-34.It is important that the celebration of Lauds and Vespers should never be concluded without the recitation by the Abbess of the whole of the Lord’s Prayer so that all may hear and attend to it.(RB 13:12)
SAINT JOHN XXIII, PRAY FOR US.