Did you know that the proper way to hold your hands up for the recitation of the “Our Father” at Mass is with palms forward, arms up in a kind of “stick ‘em up” pose? My spiritual director was doing a session at a local prison, and one of the inmates pointed that out to him. His reply was, “Of course! It is the position of a surrender of your will to God’s will.” We should not have our hands at our waist with palms up in a position of “give me something” nor should we have them to the sides lifted with palms up in a position of “whatever”.
Our hands should be near our shoulders with the palms facing forward to show our surrender to our Lord’s will. The prayer even says that, “. . . thy will be done on earth as it is
in heaven.” How often have we prayed that without really understanding what that means? Is it just words to us, or does it have real meaning in our lives? The catechism tells us that “The Lord’s Prayer” is the most perfect of prayers. . . In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them. (CCC2763)
“Thy will be done” is the third petition of the prayer and we ask our heavenly Father to unite our will to that of Jesus so as to fulfill the plan of salvation in the world. (CCC 2860) We acknowledge that we need God’s help in our lives in order to make this possible. We need to spread the good news of God’s love to those around us and we can’t do that by ourselves! We also need to help others understand the teachings of the Catholic Church.
So much information out there is twisted or just wrong. I know this because of questions I am asked all the time by people in our parish.
At the adult education opportunities that are offered here on Wednesdays, I have been able to clear up some of the misconceptions, but there must be a lot more out there! That is part of God’s will for my life, to correct as many of these misconceptions as I can using the Catechism, and Catholic Commentaries, and papal encyclicals to make sure what I say is correct within the Catholic Church.
You know, Jesus gave us an example of turning our wills over to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane when he prayed, “Not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Also, in creating us, God established a plan for how to live in a fully human and spiritual manner. Jesus came to us to show us exactly what that means! In this season of Advent, we should follow Jesus’ example and surrender our wills over to the will of God.
See you soon!