‘The Mindful Our Father’ – New Messenger book
In his new book, The Mindful Our Father, Tom Casey SJ examines each phrase of the Our Father from multiple perspectives to unearth its hidden treasure. He believes there is a real need to reflect and meditate on the words for it is considered more than a prayer – it is a perspective on life, a guide by which Christians shape their values.
In the book’s introduction, the author says:
“The Our Father is like a house with a deep basement, extending several floors into the earth, and a high roof, reaching all the way up to heaven… This book aims to give you a better view of the deep foundation and upper floors of this powerful prayer. Within this apparently mundane prayer, there are astonishing riches.”
The book slows things down and for those who pray–or would like to pray–it brings the contemporary focus of mindfulness, familiar to a contemporary audience, to the prayer.
Rather than considering what the prayer meant to those who first heard it, it focuses on what the Our Father says to people today about living a better tomorrow; it thereby allows the reader to translate the spirituality in the prayer into the personal language of our lived experience.
Referring to people’s desires in the phrase ‘thy kingdom come’, the author says:
“God values your desires and takes them seriously. God is delighted when you have generous desires. God loves responding to full-sized desires. When Jesus tells us to pray ‘thy kingdom come’, he wants us to seek it with real passion and desire.”
Regarding another phrase in the Our Father, the author writes:
“The problem with the petition ‘lead us not into temptation’ is that it can give the mistaken impression that God is trying to get us into a spot of bother, a ‘nice mess’, by tempting us. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth… It is something like this, ‘Don’t allow us to be overcome by temptation, don’t allow us to succumb’.
Gerald O’Collins SJ comments:
“This book gently leads you to pray the Our Father and not merely read about it.”
Thomas Casey is an Irish Jesuit priest and author of eight books in the area of spirituality. He recently left the world of academia after twenty years lecturing in Italy, Israel and Ireland and is Chaplain in a Jesuit secondary school in Dublin.
The Mindful Our Father by Thomas G. Casey SJ is published in Ireland and the UK by Messenger Publications. It is priced at €14.95/£12.95.