Monday, August 27, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 516.

YOUCAT Question n. 516 - How can people say “Father” to God if they have been tormented or abandoned by their earthly father / their earthly parents?

(Youcat answer) Human fathers and mothers often distort the image of a kind, fatherly God. Our Father in heaven, however, is not the same as our experiences of human parents. We must purify our image of God from all our own ideas so as to be able to encounter him with unconditional trust.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2779 a) Before we make our own this first exclamation of the Lord's Prayer, we must humbly cleanse our hearts of certain false images drawn "from this world." Humility makes us recognize that "no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him," that is, "to little children" (Mt 11:25-27). The purification of our hearts has to do with paternal or maternal images, stemming from our personal and cultural history, and influencing our relationship with God.

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Even individuals who have been raped by their own father can learn to pray the Our Father. Often it is their task in life to allow themselves to experience a love that was cruelly refused them by others but that nevertheless exists in a marvelous way, beyond all human imagining.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2779 b) God our Father transcends the categories of the created world. To impose our own ideas in this area "upon him" would be to fabricate idols to adore or pull down. To pray to the Father is to enter into his mystery as he is and as the Son has revealed him to us. The expression God the Father had never been revealed to anyone. When Moses himself asked God who he was, he heard another name. The Father's name has been revealed to us in the Son, for the name "Son" implies the new name "Father" (Tertullian De orat. 3: PL 1, 1155).

(The next question is: How are we changed by the Our Father?)

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