expectations that draws down upon itself the eyes of the Father of mercies. They go up from us and concern us from this very moment, in our present world: ‘give us... forgive us... lead us not.. . deliver us. . .‘ The fourth and fifth petitions concern our life as such — to be fed and to be healed of sin; the last two concern our battle for the victory of life — that battle of prayer. 2806 By the three first petitions, we are strengthened in faith,


filled with hope and set aflame by charity. Being creatures and still

sinners, we have to petition for us, for that ‘us’ bound by the world and history, which we offer to the boundless love of God. For through the name of his Christ and the reign of his Holy Spirit our Father accomplishes his plan of salvation, for us and for the whole world.


I. ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’

2807 The term ‘to hallow’ is to be understood here not primarily in its causative sense (only God hallows, makes holy), but above all in an evaluative sense: to recognize as holy, to treat in a holy way.


And so, in adoration, this invocation is sometimes understood as

praise and thanksgiving.66 But this petition is here taught to us by Jesus as an optative: a petition, a desire and an expectation in which God and man are involved. Beginning with this first petition to our Father, we are immersed in the innermost mystery of his Godhead and the drama of the salvation of our humanity. Asking the Father that his name be made holy draws us into his plan of loving kindness for the fullness of time, ‘according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ’, that we might ‘be holy and blameless before him in love’.6~
2808 In the decisive moments of his economy God reveals his

203, 432

name, but he does so by accomplishing his work. This work, then,

is realized for us and in us only if his name is hallowed by us and in us. 2809 The holiness of God is the inaccessible centre of his eterna mystery. What is revealed of it in creation and history, Scriptur


calls ‘glory’, the radiance of his majesty.68 In making man in h~

image and likeness, God ‘crowned him with glory and honour’ but by sinning, man fell ‘short of the glory of God’.6~ From tha time on, God was to manifest his holiness by revealing and givin
705 his name, in order to restore man to the image of his Creator.7°