Posted by: Thomas Richard | December 30, 2015

Second HPR Article on the Prayer, the Our Father

A second article on the prayer, the Our Father, has now been published on the website Homiletic & Pastoral Review.  The article title is: The Our Father: Ladder to the Heavens.   As the world seems to only grow in secular materialism, with a corresponding alienation of persons from other persons, with a growing coldness and hardness and detachment among people and groups, we are seeing a very troubling dehumanization taking place.  The fact of the innate dignity that we possess, and that we all ought to recognize in one another, by virtue of our common creation in the divine image of God, is fading out of consciousness and into a distant past.   The world is growing darker.

We need to return to that divine image!  We need to return to God!  We need to rediscover our own precious humanity, and that of others, so that we might begin to recover the human solidarity that ought to characterize all human-with-human interactions on this earth.

Below is the concluding paragraph of the article.  I hope you will follow the link given above, and read the article – and maybe even leave a comment for me and for others to read as well.

This remarkable prayer, the Our Father, can lead us into spiritual renewal. Like a spiritual director, it shows us the way of prayer, points the direction of prayer, leads us in ascent of prayer, to follow our Lord in mission. The Our Father leads us into, and through, the three stages of spiritual life that he intends us to travel and experience, along the way of our vocation to true maturity in Christ. He takes us by the hand as beginners, in the Purgative Stage, and leads us to a doorway of inner darkness, on to Illumination in mystical encounter, and infused contemplation. It is here that we most personally and intimately meet him, and grow to know him, and most deeply hear him pronounce our true calling to the glory of his kingdom and beatitude. The Our Father, the most overlooked and under-prayed of prayers, says it all.



  1. Dear Thomas,

    Thanks for this excellent article. There are so many Catholics who have not heard anything about the stages of growth in prayer. Yet, is there anything so important as our relationship with God in prayer?

    Hopefully, all who read this second article will be blessed beyond measure. May your words help all of us not only to pray better, but truly to LIVE the words we pray — even as our Mother Mary learned on earth, from her Son:

    “When you pray, say, Our Father…”

    • Thank you, Deborah, as always, for your perspectives and comments. Let us continue to pray for authentic renewal throughout the Church – a renewal that must begin in a return to prayer.

  2. Hello Thomas, what a blessing it is to read your articles. This world is getting darker it seems. It’s so sad. I hope and pray others will want to grow spiritually, as I do too.

    • It is sad, I know, to witness darkness apparently growing in the world, among human persons created for holy fellowship with God and neighbor. Yet it is no surprise to the Lord! And He consoles us with His mysterious truth: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Mt 5:4) Darkness comes, and then the dawn.

  3. Thank you for your insights on the Our Father, I like your methodical and reasoned approach to faith and prayer. Absorbing these concepts, I realize how far I have to go, but have joy and faith to finish the race!

    • Hello Charles – Thank you for this comment. I appreciate, and am encouraged by your resolve: “I realize how far I have to go, but have joy and faith to finish the race!” Amen! Yes, it is a steep mountain, an uphill race, and every day is precious. But He is with us, helping us in every step of the ascent.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: