The Our Father, loving commentary

The Our Father is a treasure! Amorous Commentary on the Prayer of Christ

by Francoise Heyer

Salvator, 222 pages, €20

What prayer, no doubt often recited without enough attention, is more identified with the Christian faith than that of Christ himself? The Our Father is unique, « crosses time and space since the beginning of the Christian era» and, explains Françoise Heyer in the preamble to her book, we « one can imagine that not a single minute passes without these words being uttered somewhere on earth, in solitude, in small groups or in large assemblies, in silence, aloud, spoken or sung. »

This prayer, the author, a doctor by training, trained in philosophy, theology and spiritual accompaniment, sees it as a treasure of unfathomable richness, undoubtedly the fruit of Christ’s own prayer. « He often retired to deserted places and spent long hours in prayer, at night or in the morning well before dawn, recalls Françoise Heyer. He thus nourished the relationship that united him to his Father, in deep intimacy, in order to carry out the mission that the latter had entrusted to him. »

This prayer, it is first to be received as the words of the Word, before pronouncing them in our turn. For Tertullian, quoted by Françoise Heyer, “Only God was able to teach us how he wanted to be prayed to, so it is he who animates prayer with his Spirit (…) and communicates to him the privilege of touching the heart of the Father with the words of the Son..

Phrase after phrase, nourished by comments from the Fathers of the Church, Simone Weil and Paul Ricœur, the author meditates at length on the Our Father, a prayer that “aims at the present in its liveliest and most urgent necessity” and that “actualize the Gospel in our ordinary lives”in « bringing full attention to every word » (1).


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