St. Luke’s version of the Our Father stresses daily needs. We require assistance, day by day, even minute by minute. The blend of principles with daily needs was to leave no single moment of life unaffected.
Prayer is an important daily need. St Teresa of Avila has this to say on prayer: “Mental prayer, in my opinion, is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends. It means taking time frequently to be alone with Him whom we know loves us, in order that our love be true and our friendship endure”. She adds: “Prayer is not thinking much but loving much”. That says it all.
We have daily need of the Eucharist. St. Pope Pius X did a great service to the Church when he encouraged frequent Communion. He wrote: “Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to heaven”. It was he that made it possible for children to receive Communion at the age of 7. Pius X wrote: “Children have need of Him that they be formed in habits of virtue. Men and women need Him that they carry out faithfully their state of life”. ‘Lord I am not worthy, say but the word and my soul shall be healed’.
We are always in need of hope. As Pope Francis said: “All it takes is one good person to restore hope”. There is a nurse with the name Mercy. When asked about her name, she told her story. He mother had twins, a boy and a girl. The boy did not survive. The mother asked God, in His mercy, to give life to her daughter. If so, she would give the girl the name Mercy. So it happened. God gave life to her daughter and the mother gave her child the name Mercy. She was a woman of hope.
Gratitude implies that we are a people in need, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual. Recently a woman told how her Christian life had been lukewarm and static. Then she attended a Passionist Mission. That set her life on fire for Christ and for the Church. She has not been the same since. The experience made the woman not only more prayerful but also more apostolic. She now lives life gratefully and generously.
“Give us each day our daily bread”.
Fr. Theodore Walsh, C.P.