Friday, January 29, 2010

That Glorious God...

I just stumbled across the most remarkable article by Dr Rowan Williams on the Lord's Prayer. Do go and read it for yourself - from someone in whose conversion many years ago the Lord's Prayer was central, and who has struggled with its purity and its holiness ever since, this is the real thing. Read it, please.

Dr Williams begins:

The prayer as a whole tells us we stand in a very vulnerable place. We stand in the middle of a human world where God's will is not the most automatic thing that people do. Where crisis faces us, where uncertainty is all around about tomorrow and where evil is powerfully at work.

To stand with dignity and freedom in a world like that, we need to know that God is Our Father. We need to know that whatever happens to us God is God, God's name and presence and power and word are holy and wonderful and that that glorious God has made us members of his family in a very intimate and direct way.

With that confidence, that kind of unchildish dependence, we're actually free. We know that there is a relationship that nothing can break.

And again, you could turn to Saint Paul on that to the end of chapter eight of his Letter to the Romans: "I know that nothing, nothing can separate me from the love of God and Jesus Christ". And to begin that prayer "Our Father" is really to say what Saint Paul is saying. Just as in the old hymn, here is an anchor that keeps the soul. Here is the anchorage that keeps us steady in this turbulent, difficult, nightmare world.

So the Lord's Prayer is a prayer that is utterly serious about the danger, the tragedy of the world.

Absolutely thrilling words from a theologian and pastor for whom I have, and have had since I read his The Wound of Knowledge and Resurrection back in the early 80s, the deepest love and respect.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reference to this article. It's really good. Though it has been some time since our e-mail conversation I continue to remember you in prayer.

Peace, Mike+

Blair said...

Hello Mike,

thank you for this link. I'm also a fan of Rowan Williams and (infrequently I admit) pray for him especially over how tightly boxed-in he is as Archbishop.

Also wanted to thank you for this blog - I happened upon it a few months back and really like the way you find nourishing words to quote. Am guessing you're another subscriber to Richard Rohr's daily reflections too!

in friendship, Blair

Mike Farley said...

Hi Blair - sorry, I meant to reply to your comment and it just sank down my inbox. Mea culpa! Good to hear from you, and glad you found the blog interesting. Yes, you're quite right about the Rohr daily reflections!

Fr. Michael, thanks for your prayers. I shall need them especially this Lent...