The Our Father

Lesson 38 from the Baltimore Cathechism

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490. Why is the Our Father the best of all prayers?

The Our Father is the best of all prayers because it is the Lord's Prayer, taught us by Jesus Christ Himself, and because it is a prayer of perfect and unselfish love. See Matthew 6:9-13 for the Lord's Prayer.

491. Why is the Our Father a prayer of perfect and unselfish love?

The Our Father is a prayer of perfect and unselfish love because in saying it we offer ourselves entirely to God and ask from Him the best things, not only for ourselves but also for our neighbor.

492. Why do we address God as "Our Father who art in heaven"?

We address God as "Our Father who art in heaven" because we belong to Him, our loving Father, who created us and watches over us, who adopts us through sanctifying grace as His children, and who destines us to live forever with Him in heaven, our true home.

In my Father's house, there are many mansions. (John 14:2)

493. For what do we pray when we say "hallowed be Thy name"?

When we say "hallowed be Thy name," we pray that God may be known and honored by all men.

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is worthy of praise. (Psalm 112:3)

494. For what do we pray when we say "Thy kingdom come"?

When we say "Thy kingdom come," we pray that the kingdom of God's grace may be spread throughout the world, that all men may come to know and to enter the true Church and to live as worthy members of it, and that, finally, we all may be admitted to the kingdom of God's glory.

You therefore be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

495. For what do we pray when we say "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"?

When we say "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," we pray that all men may obey God on earth as willingly as the saints and angels obey Him in heaven.

Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will but thine be done. (Luke 22:41)

496. For what do we pray when we say "Give us this day our daily bread"?

When we say "Give us this day our daily bread," we pray that God will give us each day all that is necessary to support the material life of our bodies and the spiritual life of our souls.

For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (John 6:56)

497. For what do we pray when we say "and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us"?

When we say "and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," we pray that God will pardon the sins by which we have offended Him, and we tell Him that we pardon our fellow men who have offended us.

For if you forgive men their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you your offenses. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your offenses. (Matthew 6:14-15)

498. For what do we pray when we say "and lead us not into temptation"?

When we say "and lead us not into temptation," we pray that God will always give us the grace to overcome the temptations to sin which come to us from the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. (Tobias 12:13)

499. For what do we pray when we say "but deliver us from evil"?

When we say "but deliver us from evil," we pray that God will always protect us from harm, and especially from harm to our souls.

I do not pray that thou take them out of the world, but that thou keep them from evil. (John 17:15)

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