The wise St. Teresa of Avila says, “We’re people who don’t feel rich until we feel the money in our pocket.” So, we have to pray, “Your kingdom come… on earth.”
We’re earthy people with our feet on the ground, today’s ground. We find it hard to pray: “Give us whatever is good for us.” We find it hard to grasp that God’s kingdom is coming with blessings far beyond what we ask for.
We’re earthy people. We find the prayer of Jesus in the garden hard to imitate: “Not my will, but yours be done.”
“But you know us, my Lord, and you know that we have not given ourselves up to the will of your Father as completely as you did. For us, it is best to pray for specific things…or else we won’t accept what God chooses to give us (even if it is far better than what we asked for) because it’s not exactly what we asked for.”
So we pray that God’s kingdom come “on earth” –for my cousin’s friend who’s paralyzed, for Dennis, Joan, Camille, Mary, and Betty who lost their jobs, for the disturbed woman who visits our garden, for our President and our country, for Vincent in the hospital.” Our prayer is about “specific things” because we live our lives in them; we only know through what we see and feel and experience.
And so, “the good Jesus places these two petitions – Hallowed be thy name and Thy kingdom come next to each other, so that we can understand what we are asking for and why it is important to beg for it and to do all we can to please the one who is able to give it to us.”
The petitions lead us to the prayer of Jesus, “your will be done.”
A wise woman, St. Teresa. No wonder she’s a Doctor of the Church. (The Way of Perfection)