Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Us" and Him

One of the constants in both my Protestant, and Catholic life, is my daily repeating of the Lord's Prayer to start my devotions (granted, as a Catholic, I repeat it a lot more each day). I never really felt quite comfortable with the "Hey Pop, wazzup" casualty of praying that most of my Evangelical friends use (this is the Creator of the universe after all), so I would always start off my morning prayer in the way in which Jesus taught us (Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4).

It was only when I was preparing to enter the Catholic church that I realized that the Lord's Prayer is a catholic prayer (yes, yes, Christianity is a catholic faith, but we're focused on just the prayer now, and little "c" catholic). The one word that Christ uses the most as He teaches the apostles to pray, is the word "Us", and we say it in that way whether alone or in corporate worship. If you even try to turn it from plural to singular, it will not only song oddly wrong, but also quite selfish ("give me" vs "give us"). We are a family, the body of Christ, and that was one of the lessons the Rabbi was teaching in this, the only prayer He taught us.

That many of our Protestant siblings ignore this prayer, or only say it a few times a year, is another example of their own unconscious Catholi-phobia (fear of appearing Catholic). Even calling it the "Lord's Prayer", and maybe even having it printed on nice little wooden crosses in their hall way, but rarely actually saying it.

For me, each "Us" in the prayer seems to slowly get louder, as I hear the Most Holy Trinity trying to desperately remind us that we are One body, we are One church, we are One - Universal, we are One - Catholic.

While we Catholics might sometimes self righteously act like the son who stayed, I do hope we all pray for the prodigal to return, so that our wonderful Father may rejoice in His family made whole.

Lord God, Help "Us" become holy whole again.
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1 comment:

Aramis said...

In my post yesterday I wrote:

To be able to enter into relationship with others may be what it means to be made in the image of God. “Relationship is at the heart of the Trinity” is a way of saying relationship is at the heart of who God is. To be in relationship with God is to be IN LIFE, inside the life of the Trinity.

Re-thinking the idea of 'self' as inter-dividual, a Girardian term, we begin to see ourselves as made in the image of the Triune God. The 'self' is relationship. Psychologically we are not independent of the other, but rather inter-connected to the other(s). This brings a beautiful and expanding dimension to what you are talking about in the Lord's Prayer and the 'we' instead of the 'I' use.

A little deeper look at the psychological ramifications of the 'self' you can browse my notes of tape 3 of The Gift of Self by Gil Bailie. (I hope to be finished transcribing tape 4 by first of next week.)