I wonder whether other ^atholics are as disturbed as I am at the irregularities in the recitation of the "Our Father" at Mass? Particularly at one form, which divides this most important prayer into a succession of disconnected phrases divided by repitions of "Hallowed be Thy Name".
Surely we must remember what a tremendous prayer this is, and who gave it; concise and intact, containing in sequence every need we have, balanced in their priorities. It is an awful prayer, not to be lightly said.
Particularly alarming is the division into two parts of "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us": because if one thinks at all about this phrase it means just what it says, "Forgive as I forgive", and if he only forgives me as I forgive then where is my hope of salvation?
Have we forgotten about forgiveness and what it means'? It means to wipe out iniquity: "Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back." If we forgave like that, the troubles of the world would be solved. No more violence; charity becomes easy.
Try saying the "Forgive as I forgive" and then adding (as we must) "no one has ever injured me; no one owes me anything" and see what a shock you get.
If one says the prayer in its entirety once, thinking of each phrase and what it really means and making a practice of repeating: "No one has ever injured me, etc." after the terrible "Forgive as we forgive" it gradually makes a difference to one's whole life.
This is a mighty, loving and terrible prayer and can't be turned into a kind of negro spiritual.