The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page
The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page
The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page

Part Four:  

Lord, Teach Us To Pray

First Petition: 

Hallowed Be Thy Name”

Table of Contents    

Convent of the Pater Noster The Latin words of the first petition bring out clearly what we are here asking for: “Sanctificetur Nomen tuum.”

What we are asking is that the Name of God may be sanctified. This calls for some explanations. We are not asking that God might become more holy. That would be blasphemy. He is the All-Holy One because He is the Totally Other. He alone is the Necessary One, the Infinite One; there is no other God than He.

Our petition is rather that God might be recognized and served as God by us and in us. He is all powerful, all wise, and all good. He is the Creator and the Destiny of the human race. But not everyone either acknowledges Him for who He is, or serves Him as He deserves.

Yet that is the main reason why God created rational human beings. He wants them to know Him – love and serve Him in time – as the condition for possessing Him in eternity.

In biblical language, “name” means the being who is named. When we pray that the name of God may be sanctified, we are asking that He may be glorified by His human creatures because they are His children and He is their God.

In the Church’s understanding, the comparison which occurs in the third petition, “on earth as it is in heaven,” refers to all the first three petitions. Consequently, in asking that the name of God be hallowed – that God may be known and loved – we are really praying that His name may be as hallowed on earth as it is in heaven.

If we ask, how is God’s name hallowed in heaven? the answer is clear. He is hallowed in heaven perfectly. The angels and saints in heaven know Him to perfection and they love Him to the limit of their created power.

Our petition, then, is that we on earth might grow in our knowledge and love of God. Every day, and in fact, every moment, our loving knowledge or intelligent love of Him should become more and more like the beatific vision of the hosts of heaven.

One more observation. The more we sanctify the name of God, by our devoted service, the more He will sanctify us. Indeed, we may say that our sanctity depends on how devotedly we hallow the name of God.

Chi Rho (Monogram of Christ)

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“The Convent of the Pater Noster was built over the site where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer. Catholic-Carmelite Cloistered Sisters Located on the Mount of Olives [in Jerusalem]. The walls are decorated with 111 ceramic tiles, each one inscribed with the Lord’s Prayer in a different language.” Used with permission from: Michael Olteanu, Executive Director, Christus Rex, Inc.
(Please Note: this website is referenced with the following restriction).

The picture “Chi Rho (Monogram of Christ)” at the bottom of the page is from the book Christian Symbols, drawn by Rudolf Koch (1876 – 1934) with the collaboration of Fritz Kredel (1900 – 1973) (trans. Kevin Ahern; San Francisco: Arion Press, 1996) courtesy of Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

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