Spirituality and Ethics
The Our Father - Part 7

By Fr. Max Oliva, S.J.

In a reflection called, "Morning Meditation Prayer" (author unknown), which considers The Lord's Prayer, there are some thoughts on the fullest, traditional, version of this appeal to God: "For the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory are yours, now and forever. Amen." 'For the Kingdom' reveals that the universe belongs to the Creator; 'and the Power' tells us that God has sufficient power and grace to help us on our faith journey; 'and the Glory' explains our joy in serving the Lord; 'yours now and forever' shows that God's kingdom is the only thing that will last.

Readers' Comments on March Issue: "Deliver Us from Evil..."

"I am a convert to the Catholic Church. Not long before I converted, a friend of mine, who was also non-Catholic at the time, and I attended a seven-day silent retreat. The whole experience was quite overwhelming and I truly felt that my soul was being fought for. I had never seen a crucifix, with Jesus on the cross before and the reality of his sacrifice moved me deeply. I had a Jesuit priest as my director for the retreat. A few times in my life I have had experiences of being surrounded by evil. On the retreat the sense of an evil spirit being present came to me. I told my director; he prayed in the name of Jesus that the spirit would vanish and it did. One of the earlier experiences when I experienced the presence of evil was when I was with a person who was filled with hate. I was given the grace of God's love to help the person be healed of this emotion. Because of that experience, I have come to truly believe that God's love can overcome evil and hatred." - Jean, Mother and grandmother

"I was invited to go to South Africa in the early 1980's to give workshops on the social mission of the Church. In preparation for this journey, I read articles and books on apartheid and its devastating effects on both black and white people alike. The more I read the more nervous I became because the main theme of my talks was on social justice and on the evils existent in the country at that time. In addition, I was warned to expect government informers at my talks. The first city I stayed in was Johannesburg. One night at the beginning of my stay there I had a very unsettling experience. I had just gone to bed and was lying there in the dark when I had an overwhelming sense of something evil in the room. I turned on the light and the feeling disappeared. Thinking it was my imagination causing the negative feeling, I turned off the light again. The malicious feeling immediately returned. I got up and put the light on a second time. This time I noticed a crucifix hanging on the wall above the bed. I took it down, turned off the light, went back to bed, and held the crucifix on my chest. A feeling of peace came over me and gradually I drifted off to sleep. This was the most intense impression I had ever had of the existence of evil in my life." - Max, Retreat presenter and author

"Thank you for the last issue of your newsletter. It is good to remember and reflect on the power of Jesus in one's life in the face of evil and temptations." - Frank, College lecturer in English Literature

"I have some questions that were stimulated by your last newsletter. Is it not evil when working people are treated with little dignity and respect, when they have to work multiple jobs in order to earn a decent living wage, when they are kept at part time status so benefits don't have to be paid, when workplaces close rather than accept a union, when plants close only to re-open in third world countries where workers have little or no protection? Is it not evil when there is a scarcity of affordable housing, when the food bank is the fastest growing business in town? The cost of living where I live is over the top; some people are under-employed resulting in families not having enough money to cover the essentials. On the other hand, it seems to me that obscene profit margins are evil. Have we set our expectations for standard of living too high in Canada?" - Lucille, Administration, steelworkers health and welfare

Bibliography on the Lord's Prayer

  • The Daily Study Bible - The Gospel of Matthew Vol. 1 (Chapter 6: 9-13) and The Gospel of Luke (Chapter 11:1-4), exegesis (analysis) by William Barclay. Dr. Barclay had the gift of explaining the New Testament for the ordinary man and woman.
  • Slowing Down the Our Father, by Leonard Foley, O.F.M (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1986).
  • Our Father Revisited, by Robert F. Morneau (Liturgical Press, 1978).
  • Entering Christ's Prayer: A Retreat in 32 Meditations, by Eric Jensen, S.J. (Ave Maria Press, 2007). Especially see pages 100-103.
  • "Learning to Pray with the Our Father," from The Way of Prayer, by St. Teresa of Avila (Ave Maria Press, 2008).
  • Weeds Among the Wheat: Discernment - Where Prayer & Action Meet, by Thomas Green, S.J. (Ave Maria Press, 1984). Very good on learning how to distinguish between the 'good spirit' and the 'bad spirit' in making ethical and personal decisions.(

(April 2008 Newsletter)


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Virtue Ethics The Spirituality of St. Ignatius Ten Ethical Lessons The Our Father Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 4B Part 5 Part 6 Part 7
The Beatitudes The Ten Commandments Other Topics About Fr. Max Oliva, SJ


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