Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Great Prayer

Good morning. Today starts the beginning of the study (analyzing) of The Lord’s Prayer at the retreat center. I'm using Emmet Fox’s, Sermon on the Mount, The Key to Success in Life, and The Lord’s Prayer, an Interpretation. It's one book with two separate explorations. It's my companion study guide to accompany the Jesuit directed retreat. This was not a suggested reading from the retreat center, and in fact, this book is not in it’s library.

I have been using this book for the last 11 years as part of my spiritual education. It was published in 1934 while the copyright information for The Lord's Prayer section of the book was established in 1932. (Just want to get the facts straight.) My point is, the information contained in this book transcends the decades and, for me, is still applicable today.

I'll share a bit of what Fox says about the Prayer that may explain why it is not something to be uttered in rote. I will paraphrase the introduction to the prayer:

The prayer was carefully constructed with certain very clear ends in view, an organic whole. It is a compact formula for the development of the soul. Those who use it regularly, with understanding, will experience a real change of soul.

The Prayer meets everyone's need just at his own level.

The Prayer was designed to pass safely thru the ages without being tampered with, arranged with consummate skill so that it could not be twister or distorted … the Prayer has come to us uncorrupted and unspoiled, even thru the passing of Christian history.

The Prayer naturally falls into seven clauses. This is very characteristic of the Oriental tradition. Seven symbolizes the completeness, the perfection for the individual soul. Many have added the eighth clause, “For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever”, and this is an excellent affirmation, however not really a part of the Prayer.

The seven clauses are put together with the utmost care, in perfect order and sequence, and they contain everything that is necessary for the nourishment of the soul.

The last paragraph is a direct quote from the book.

*  *  *  *  *

Upon awakening, I felt better. I've entered the silence, and I can feel its power run thru me. I am hanging on with my fingertips to the world outside, but my own resources are waining as I allow this place to envelop and mold me. I plan to keep writing, however, should I be inspired to stop, I will give you a solid report upon returning to my life.

It’s poor etiquette, if not outright stupid, to write publicly that I am out of town. So, I'll say this for those crazy ones who may want to raid my home of all its precious possessions. You realize, don’t you, you'll need a few semi trucks? Well, my home is being watched and cared for while I’m away. Plus I have an attack cat. Zoe is her name. So there. Don’t try any funny stuff or you’ll find yourself like this guy below:



See y’all soon.

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