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Friends, our Gospel for today gives us an opportunity to reflect on the great prayer that Jesus taught us. Think how this prayer links us to all of the great figures in Christian history, from Peter and Paul to Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Francis of Assisi, John Henry Newman, G.K. Chesterton, John Paul II, and right up to the present day.

A desire to pray is planted deep within us. It just means the desire to speak to God and to listen to him. Keep in mind that prayer is not designed to change God’s mind or to tell God something he doesn’t know. God isn’t like a big city boss or a reluctant pasha whom we have to persuade. He is rather the one who wants nothing other than to give us good things—though they might not always be what we want.

Can you see how this prayer rightly orders us? We must put God’s holy name first; we must strive to do his will in all things and at all times; we must be strengthened by spiritual food or we will fall; we must be agents of forgiveness; we must be able to withstand the dark powers.