1989 July 30 – 17th Sun Ord Time (Bulletin Letters)
Lk 11, 1 – 13
THE OUR FATHER: Did you know that at one time saying the ‘Our Father’ was a dangerous act? In the early years of the Church during the times of persecution, saying the Lord’s Prayer was considered a subversive act. It is not surprising considering the author of the prayer was subversive himself.
The ‘Our Father’ is the Christian generic prayer because it covers all the basics. In today’s Gospel we read St. Luke’s version. It is known for its brevity. It begins by honoring the name of God. In addressing God as “Father”, the nature of the prayer’s relation-ship to God is revealed as very intimate and paternal. A radical departure from the way Jesus’ contemporaries would have addressed God. Next come two petitions, one for the coming of God’s Kingdom and the other for the meeting of basic needs. These two petitions reflect the two basic concerns of any follower of Jesus, the completion of Jesus’ work on earth and the trust that basic physical needs will be met in the process. Knowing the great demands the faith places on people and our tendency to fail, the prayer asks for forgiveness. In asking for forgiveness the prayer knows that God’s forgiveness is truly received only when the forgiven can forgive in return. And finally there is a plea not to be put to the ‘trial’. During the periodic Roman purges of Christians many gave up their faith to save their lives. This last petition recognizes the power evil has in this world and begs God not to put the prayer to a test they cannot handle.
Above all else, this prayer is Jesus’ prayer. It is the prayer he left for us to say. All other prayers come from this basic prayer. It has served the followers of Jesus throughout the centuries in good times and in bad times. When in doubt say this prayer, it covers all the bases and the Lord will take care of the rest
89 07 30: NO LINE CROSSING IN AUGUST FOR FR. FRANK:
I met with Bishop Bullock this week and I will not be crossing the line at S.A.C. in August. The Bishop asked me not to cross. I told him I would comply with his request out of my love and deference to him. The Bishop also added out of ‘obedience’, obedience in the sense of its root meaning, “to listen”. We both agreed to make special efforts to listen to where each of us is coming from in this whole area of priestly life and resistance. We have another meeting scheduled in September to continue our dialogue. I feel real good about our meeting. Both of us are trying very hard to come to a mutual understanding and acceptance of each other’s position. I am not an easy matter for the Bishop. I raise some very challenging concerns. Yet through this whole process he has been very good to me. I know his concern for me is genuine along with his concern for St. Anne’s and Holy Family Parishes and the larger church. The trust level between us is very high. I feel blessed in this relationship. The words of Bishop Dingman come back to me when I asked him for his advice about the tension in my life between parish ministry and doing resistance. Bishop Dingman told me to ‘compromise’ and ‘do both.’ This week I compromised.
89 07 30 Pastorial CW Kids visit
THE KIDS ARE COMING! THE KIDS ARE COMING! This week St. Anne’s is having their week long summer school session. In a moment of weakness, I invited the kids from the Des Moines Catholic Worker community to come and spend the week with me and attend our summer school effort and get a taste of country living. Well, the folks at the Catholic Worker took me up on the offer and they are sending seven boys between the ages of 6 and 12, along with two adults to spend the week with me, in the rectory and attend the summer school sessions. I’m really looking forward to their coming. The whole week will be like a marathon slumber party. My goal is to have my sanity at the end of the week. Feel free to drop by and visit the kids. Suggestions for things to do and special outings are most welcome.