Our Father : Reflections On The Lord's Prayer
‘Our Father: Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer’ by Pope Francis
Pope Francis (in conversation with Fr. Marco Pozza) - Rider Books (Penguin Random House) – 2018 – 141 pages – MRP: ₹ 399/- ISBN: 978-1-84604-590-5 - Available for sale on Amazon and at the St. Paul’s Bookshop and Media Centre, Bandra.
In this little but profound book, Pope Francis, in conversation with Fr. Marco Pozza, who is a prison chaplain from Padua, Italy, discusses the most popular recited prayer in Christendom – the Lord’s Prayer. Pope Francis reflects on the Lord’s Prayer in this book in an easy to read and heart-rendering manner. His inputs and analysis are genuine as well as being theologically sound. If you want to know Pope Francis’ thoughts on the different portions of the Lord’s Prayer, then you must read this rejuvenating book of reflections.
Pope Francis in his usual simple but effective manner has taken the pains to analyze each part of the Lord’s Prayer with details from his ministry first as a priest, then bishop, then Cardinal and then Pope. He implores his readers to comprehend the profundity of the powerful prayer our Lord Jesus Christ taught us. Pope Francis emphasizes the role of God the Father and links it to the role of fathers in the Catholic community. I liked reading about the way Pope Francis feels that to truly understand the role of God our Father in our life, we need to have some semblance of a male paternal figure in our lives. He emphasizes that this is what is lacking in the family setup today; the father is missing. The father is missing in the sense that:
1. He could be out travelling on work
2. He could be distant and want his space
3. He is a control freak and not a paternal influence
4. He rejects his paternity and releases himself from his obligations
But God our Father is different. He waits for us like the father of the prodigal son, or as Pope Francis rather calls the tale – the parable of the merciful father. This merciful Father does not need explanations from his wayward children. He just knows everything, so why bother with details.
According to Pope Francis, the Lord’s Prayer teaches us that God our Father doesn’t only belong to one individual, but to the community, to everyone – that’s why He is addressed as ‘Our Father’ in the prayer. Pope Francis giving simple everyday examples in this tiny book shows us the reality that the Father belongs to all, we can’t censor His love. I especially was touched by this little book because I come from a broken home when my father abandoned me because I was a girl child. I’ve never had a real paternal figure in my life, and so it has often been difficult for me to conceptualize God the Father’s love. My dear faithful mother’s love to me makes me more inclined to accept maternal love over all else, especially in the love bestowed on me by the Blessed Virgin Mary. That’s when books like these make me think, visualize and try to come to terms with the missing male aspect in my life.
But in this book, Pope Francis goes on to explore topics on prison, heavenly blessings from the Father, his holiness and majesty, forgiveness, mercy and much more contained in the prayer that has lasted throughout the ages, and has matured in relevance during the rise of God’s Holy Church.
If you want to be inspired, then read this book. Looking for some good messages from our dear Papa, then this is the book for you. Are you looking for an introduction on the profound meanings of the Lord’s Prayer? Then do read Pope Francis’ ‘Our Father: Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer’.
Fiza Pathan is an accomplished author of twelve award-winning books and has won a number of international awards. She lives with her maternal family in Bandra and blogs on insaneowl.com. She reviews and researches books for The Examiner.