"Lord, teach us to pray" Jesus' disciples ask him in this Sunday's gospel (Luke 11:1-13). If we are honest about our spiritual life, it is surely a question that we pose-for, as St. Paul tells us in Romans 8: 26, "we do not know how to pray". "Lord, teach us to pray" is a cry of the heart of those who wish to engage their Lord intimately, but are at a loss as how to do so. St. Paul tells us, in the very same verse, that "the Spirit helps us in our weakness...and intercedes with sighs too deep for words". How interesting. At the end of this Gospel passage, Luke says, "how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
The "Our Father" is not a method of prayer-which one might expect in response to a question regarding how to pray. The "Our Father" focuses and wisely orders the deep desires of our heart, the cry of the heart of those who wish to engage their Lord intimately.
And, amazingly, the response to our deepest desires, to the cry of our heart is the Holy Spirit. It does not sound very romantic, does it? The One who, according to St. Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica, I, Q. 38, art. 1 & 2; II, II, Q. 38, art 9, obj. 3), is the "Gift" is beyond romantic, and uniquely full-fills the heart, enabling us to engage our Lord intimately. This is good news. This is, well, a gift. Amen. Alleluia.
Yours in our Lord,
From the desk of the Rector