New book captures Pope Francis’ reflections on the Our Father
Pope Francis praying. VATICAN MEDIA
By Catholic News Agency
March 16 2018
In commemoration of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ election to the papacy, Penguin Random House has published a collection of the Pope’s reflections on the Our Father.
Released March 13, “Our Father: Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer” focuses on issues of social justice and charity around the world, urging Christians to reflect on solidarity and forgiveness.
“I hope that in praying the Our Father, every one of us will feel ever more loved, forgiven, bathed in the dew of the Holy Spirit, and I will thus be able in turn to love and forgive every other brother, every other sister,” writes Pope Francis in the book’s introduction. “This will give us an idea of what Heaven is like.”
A majority of the book contains the text from the nine question-and-answer sessions that composed the Italian television series “Our Father,” aired by Italian television network TV2000. In the series, Pope Francis collaborated with Father Marco Pazzo, a theologian and prison chaplain in Northern Italy, to reflect on the Lord’s Prayer.
Additionally, the book contains excerpts from homilies of his general audiences and angelus addresses, with an afterword by Father Pazzo.
Each chapter breaks down one section of the Our Father. They also include reflections on topics such as hope, Mary’s fiat, the elderly, and the poor.
In the beginning of the book, Pope Francis focuses on the importance of the title of God as “Our Father.” The word “Father” is power, he writes, and shows us an intimate image of God as creator of sons and daughters and as a provider for his children.
“What I say is this: we must humble ourselves into saying ‘Daddy’ and to truly believing that God is the Father who accompanies us, forgives us, gives us bread, is attentive to all that we ask, clothes us even better than the flowers of the field.”
The book emphasizes the need for prayer and compassion for those who suffer from hunger around the world. Quoting the book of James, the Pope writes that the Gospel is not lived properly without attending to the bodily needs of those who are hungry and sick.
“Always someone is hungry and thirsty and needs me … This poor person needs me, my help, my words, my efforts, we are all in this together.”
Pope Francis also expresses the importance of the elderly, stating that their prayers are a gift to the Church. He says their prayers sustain the workers of the Church.
“The lives of the elderly and of the grandparents are prayers. They are a gift for the Church. They are a treasure!”
In December, during one of the filmed sessions for the “Our Father” series, Pope Francis garnered media attention for suggesting that part of the Our Father was “poorly translated.”
“This, ‘lead us not into temptation,’ is not a good translation. . . . It is not God who tosses me into temptation in order to see how I fall. A father does not do this. A father helps his child get up right away.”
He further clarified that God is the good father who helps his children, but it is rather Satan who leads people into temptation.