us. Then also say by his grace, ‘Our Father’, so that you may merit being his son.37 2784 The free gift of adoption requires on our part continual


conversion and new life. Praying to our Father should develop in us

two fundamental dispositions: First, the desire to become like him: though created in his image, we are restored to his likeness by grace; and we must respond to


this grace.

We must remember. .. and know that when we call God ‘our Father’ we ought to behave as sons of God.~’ You cannot call the God of all kindness your Father if you preserve a cruel and inhuman heart; for in this case you no longer have in you the marks of the heavenly Father’s kindness.39 We must contemplate the beauty of the Father without ceasing and adorn our own souls accordingly.4°


2785 Second, a humble and trusting heart that enables us ‘to turn and

become like children’:4’ for it is to ‘little children’ that the Father is revealed.42 [The prayer is accomplishedi by the contemplation of God alone, and by the warmth of love, through which the soul, moulded and directed to love him, speaks very familiarly to God as to its own Father with special devotion.43 Our Father: at this name love is aroused in us... and the confidence of obtaining what we are about to ask... What would he not give to his children who ask, since he has already granted them the gift of being his children?44


‘Our’ Father


2786 ‘Our’ Father refers to God. The adjective, as used by us, does

not express possession, but an entirely new relationship with God. 2787 When we say ‘our’ Father, we recognize first that all his
promises of love announced by the prophets are fulfilled in the new


and eternal covenant in his Christ: we have become ‘his’ people and

he is henceforth ‘our’ God. This new relationship is the purely gratuitous gift of belonging to each other: we are to respond to