My daughter was born in August of 2017, and in the nine months of my pregnancy, I read every parenting and baby book I could find: sleep training, baby sign language, breastfeeding information, rainy day kindergarten preparedness activities. I tried to download the entire catalog of parenting knowledge available because I wanted to make sure I was ready to provide for my daughter.
The second she was born, though, and in the first few days and weeks of having our little Rose with us, I didn’t pick up or reference a single one of those books. I didn’t go study the diagram on how best to change a diaper, I didn’t meticulously sign “all done” every time she finished nursing, and I didn’t fret over whether tummy time was the perfect blend of engaging and relaxing.
Those first few weeks, we just kind of sat together on the couch: me watching Netflix, Rose napping on and off in between eating and diaper changes. And that sitting together was exactly what we both needed. I knew it. She, even in her infancy, knew it.
Today’s Gospel tells us the Father knows exactly what we need, before we even ask, perhaps even before we even know we need it. It’s Who God is: a Father that always provides for us, ready to respond. In our need (and want) of Him, we cry out in prayer, "a surge of the heart," as Saint Therese of Lisieux calls it. (source)
Jesus Himself teaches us how to pray in today's Gospel. He gives us the words to say, not because we’re incapable of coming up with good words ourselves, but because the Son wants to guide us to intimacy with His Father.
The “Our Father” captures the essence of what we long for: we praise the Lord, we accept His will, we ask for nourishment, we beg forgiveness, we request protection, and we ultimately acknowledge that God is not a distant figure, but our Father, ready provide for us, His daughters.
Watch this beloved pontiff lead the sung "Pater Noster."
Katie Prejean McGrady is an international Catholic speaker and author of three books with Ave Maria Press. After working as a theology teacher and parish youth minister for six years, Katie now travels full time across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., speaking about faith, culture, family, evangelization, discipleship, and the best way to order a flat white (extra shot, medium temp). She and her husband Tommy have a podcast (The Electric Waffle), a dog (Barney), and a 1 year old (Rose) and live in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Find out more about her here.