We Dare to Say

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We Dare to Say

Have you ever noticed at Mass that right before we all recite the “Our Father” prayer together, the priest says, “At the Savior’s command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say?” And then we all join in, “Our Father, who art in Heaven…”

What is so daring about praying the “Our Father?” Do we really need courage and boldness to say the words of a prayer that we learned as young children? The prayer that we say all the time?  From rote? Without thinking?

Ahh…maybe that is the problem. Maybe the daring part comes in when we actually think about what we are saying in the “Our Father.”

Here are three phrases, that if you think about it, are very daring to say.

“Our Father, hallowed be thy name.”
God’s name is already holy. Our words do nothing to make God’s name more hallowed. Rather we are praying that we might make it hallowed for us. That we might honor God above all. For that, we dare to say…

“Thy Kingdom come.”
Praying for God’s kingdom to come, we are asking for God’s way of ordering things. We are asking for things to work out in God’s way, not necessarily our way. For God’s will, not necessarily for our will. For that, we day to say…

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
In saying these words first, we admit that we have sinned. Then, we ask for forgiveness that is tied to the way we forgive others. For that we day to say…

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“Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others.”
–Henri Nouwen