Opinion/Editorial

OUR FATHER

In the name of the Father...a Prayer.”
A prayer that is as endemic to the Catholic Church as the existence and continuance of the pope. “Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;” What is a trespasser?

This wonderful Prayer, meant to be so forgiving it becomes difficult to understand; like the prayerful, but unwritten, rules about friendship and marriage. What are the mores and rules that regulate our relationships? What is there in them that can promote endurance, tolerance and true love? That’s a difficult question to raise, much less answer. We beat about the villages, towns, and cities of our lives, working away, making and spending money, and doing those things we think promote our own self-development and growth. We do those things without a solid understanding of how those acts we are commenting about all the time, are being taken by others around us, even those who might seem to appear to have a vested interest in our well being.

In the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales, one of my favorites, a screenwriter wrote the line “we must endeavor to persevere.” I thought that was funny the first time I heard it, but over time I have come to understand that without that thought process we cannot accommodate the people around us. How do we get by if we hold them to some sort of perfect standard? We don’t get by, because we are all so flawed as human beings, a truth easily seen when measured to any standard of perfection. We end up with the lack of that kind of thought (sometimes called righteousness) and action being exercised against us. When we find fault in others it would well behoove us to do some soul searching of ourselves. Are we ready, truly ready, to throw that first rock at the proverbial glass house we perceive those of us around us as living inside?  You cannot speak openly about forgiving friends and family, either here, or in public in other mediums. To do so is to illustrate the very things that that person, he or she, might have committed to bringing forgiveness to bear. And on this social media network, that is a version of the troll behavior called the ‘accusations of death’. Or at least that’s how I term them. The prayer (Our Father) ends with these lovely words that were finally accepted by the Catholic Church in the sixties: “For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
 forever and ever.
 Amen.”

That ending of the great prayer says it all. It’s not our place out here to be that power, or the glory or to go on forever and ever. Read the New Testament when you are in trouble. It’s there for those in trouble.

And who among us is not in trouble at one time or another?  Who among us will pass into sleep this night with, at the very least, a hope that the Father discussed here, really exists and is listening, and quite possibly acting upon our wishes?  The complexity of life and the many varied situations that make up life among all humans, and the remainder of animal life, would seem to conclude that it is all way too detailed, and way too wildly complex for any entity to take in much less influence.  What are your own beliefs about such things?  Does God act in your life and do you see the results of such action?  It’s a good bet to think so because the other bet is to be out there in a ceaseless and senseless world, a mythologically barren place so cold we don’t want to go on existing in it or on it.

Our father, who art in heaven, blessed be His name…what is it here we have to believe that does anything to our reacting to one another better than past history would seem to allow for? If you don’t believe the New Testament is the actual applied and expressed word of God, then fine.  You might find, however, upon reading it that it is the most excellent way to conduct life, as we pass on through it.

~~James Stauss

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