On The Lord’s Prayer: Why Words Aren’t Important

I saw a Fox News headline arrive in my newsfeed about Pope Francis changing the words of the Lord’s Prayer. Interesting, I thought. When was the Fox interested in what was going on in Italy?

I could lament about the need for intelligence in journalism, but some news outlets are more interested in big sales than brain cells.

I might observe the words of the Our Father aren’t very relevant when we say them. It’s a single ritual piece that starts with “Our Father” and ends with “Amen.” We say it because the Mass and rosary suggest it. We’ve known the words for our age minus five or six years. Few if any people believe God leads us into temptation. That we ask God not to do so isn’t important, it’s just part of a script. It gets us from the Amen to the exchange of Peace. Or to the first Hail Mary.

Note my suggestion is that the individual words aren’t important. Prayer certainly is important. In most cases when we recite the Lord’s Prayer, there is a large context: either the sacramental celebration or our particular intentions for the rosary or some other time of prayer. The Mass and our intercessions are important. How we get there, less so.

I certainly agree with Pope Francis on the meaning of the words. And, by the way, it was the Italian bishops who changed the words, not the Holy Father. Maybe the intended side effect of this event is that we look to the words of the Lord’s Prayer and make them more personally meaningful when we pray it. Detractors attribute all kinds of ill motives to the pope these days. In this instance, it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s another agenda afoot.

Meanwhile, any English language news agency treating this seriously can be taken with skepticism. It’s not about them. For the moment, it’s not about us English speakers. It’s about expressing faith more mindfully. So, go do.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Church News, spirituality and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to On The Lord’s Prayer: Why Words Aren’t Important

  1. Philip says:

    The attempt at controversy in this instance is probably just another symptom of the civil war within the Magisterium.

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