Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen
The objective of Lent is transformation, and the word in scripture used for this kind of transformation is metanoia. While the Greek word is typically translated as “repentance,” the word implies regret or remorse, and a decision to move forward to a space where one experiences a change in one's very core.
In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to deliver us from evil and temptation. We implore “… forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” This prayer, the very prayer Christ taught his disciples, is an appeal to our God for support in seeking transformation.
- What attitudes of the heart do we need in order to truly forgive someone who has severed a relationship with us?
- What do we need to do to forgive ourselves for those actions and words that have caused someone else profound hurt?
- How might we avoid choices that ultimately divide rather than unite us with ourselves, with others, with God?
An essential attitude to nurture, especially during Lent, is contrition. Deeper than penitence and repentance, contrition is the distressful regret for wrongful actions, often rooted in the profound realization that a relationship has been severed; sin has been committed. Contrition is essentially sorrow, and, like grief, contrition is truly painful. This grief of the soul wakes us up, and inspires us to resolve to amend our ways, and to address the severed relationship — a recognition that our wrongful actions have harmed another.
Endowed with grace, we can choose to adopt this essential attitude of the heart. The choice to respond to grace is ours to make, and praying the Lord’s Prayer each day can help call us forward in hope, as we place our confidence in God’s mercy and love.