Introductory To Religion
( Originally Published 1922 )
THE LORD'S PRAYER Our Father who art in heaven, etc.
Children, tell me about this beautiful prayer. Tell me why you love to call God our Father. Tell me what good fathers do for their children. Show me how God does this for you.
Why do we call the Our Father the Lord's Prayer? Who taught us the Our Father? Where can you read about how our Lord taught the Apostles to say the Our Father? In what part of the Bible can you read this? (St. Matthew 6, 9 ; St. Luke 11, 2.)
Who, then, taught us to call God our Father? Why is God really and truly our Heavenly Father ? What does God do to show that He is our Father ?
Tell me, now, about God's family. Tell me about God's children. How does God wish us to live together ? How do we show that we love one another? How does God show His love for sinners? How does prayer show that you love God?
When shall we see God? Where is our true home? When will we be united with God? Where is God waiting for us? Why do we call God our Heavenly Father? Why do we say? — "who art in heaven."
Why do you wish that everybody would honor God's name? Why do you say in the Lord's prayer ? — "hallowed be Thy name." Of course you know hallowed means holy. Why do you wish that everybody would make God's name holy ? What wish are you expressing, then, when you say ? — "hallowed be Thy name." Why do you wish God's name to be made holy by all the people in the world? When do people make God's name holy ? How do people who love God speak His holy name ?
Who rules our lives when we are good? Who tells us how to be good ? Whom did God send into your home to teach you to be good ? For whom, then, are your parents teaching you? Who is really teaching you when your parents tell you how to be good? How does God teach you in your home?
Who is ruling your life when you obey your parents? What Church did God send to teach the people to be good? Who is really teaching us when the Catholic Church teaches us to be good? Who is ruling our life when we obey the Catholic Church?
For whom does your guardian angel watch over you? Who sent your guardian angel to watch over you? How does God put good thoughts in your mind? Who is ruling your life when you obey your guardian angel?
When do we ask God to rule our life? When is our life like a kingdom which God rules? Why do we say?—"Thy kingdom come." When we say "Thy kingdom come," we ask God to come to rule our life. We pray that He may rule the lives of all the people in the world. Now, what would you say if anybody asked you what is the meaning of "Thy kingdom come"?
Who tells us what is good and what is bad? How does God tell us this? What do you learn in church? How do we know what God wants us to do? Whose will are we following when we do what God wants us to do? Whose will do the angels and saints obey in heaven? Why do we say to God?—"Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." What kind of people do God's will on earth?
Why do you wish that all the people in the world would do God's will? What does it show when you do God's will? Whom do you obey when you do God's will? Why are you happy to obey God? What do you do when you love God? Why do the angels and saints do God's will? When do you pray that all the people in the world may do God's will? What do you mean when you say ? — "Thy will be done on earth."
Why do you like to do God's will as the angels and saints do it? When do you pray that all may obey God as the angels and saints obey Him? Why do you say ? — "as it is in heaven."
Whose will must we do to be good? Who teach us God's will at home — in church? Who tells us how to use the things in this world? Whom do we obey when we use things right? How does God want us to use our eyes — our ears our tongue?
Why do we call God our Father? How do we know that God is our Heavenly Father? How does God show that He is really our Heavenly Father? Who gives us all that we need? How do we get all that we need for our soul and body ?
Tell me some of the things God gives us for our body. Tell me something about food — clothing — water — air — light — heat — houses. Tell me some of the things God gives us for our soul — to think — to know — to talk — the truth — good. Why does He give us teachers — parents — priests — the Catholic Church — our guardian angels?
How often do we need all these things for our soul and our body? When do we ask God to give us all these things? Why do we say? — "Give us this day our daily bread." What are we really asking God to give us when we ask for our daily bread? How do we ask God for all that we need? Why do we ask God for all that we need? What is God to us? Whose children are we all?
How do we show that we are happy because God is our Father? What does it show when we say so often "Our Father" ? How do we show that we are glad God takes care of us? What does it show when we ask God to give us our daily bread?
When do we show that we know God gives us all that we need? When do we ask God to give us all that we need? What do we mean when we say ? — "Give us this day our daily bread." Who knows what is best for us ? Why should we always be contented with what we have? Who gives us what we have?
Whom does God send to help poor people and sick people? For whom do we help poor and sick people? How, then, does God give them what they need? When do we pray for all that we need? Who wants us to pray for what we need? What does it show when we pray to God? For whom do we show our love when we pray?
How does God show that He loves sinners ? What is God always willing to do for them ? Why is God always willing to forgive them? What must they do if they want God to forgive them? For what must they be sorry? What must they promise?
Why are you always willing to forgive those who are unkind to you? Who wants you to forgive others? Why does God want you to for-give others? What does it show when you for-give others? Why do you love all the people in the world? How do you show that you love those who injure you? Whom did our Lord forgive when He was hanging on the cross? For whom did He pray? Why do you pray for those who injure you?
When do we ask God to forgive us? What do we mean when we say to God ? — "forgive us our trespasses." You know "trespasses" means faults and sins. Why do even good people ask God to forgive them? How often do good people commit faults? Why do good people say every day?—"forgive us our trespasses." Why do we say? "as we forgive those who trespass against us."
We ask God to forgive us as we forgive others. So that is how we want God to forgive us. We forgive those who injure us and we ask God to forgive us in the same manner.
Who tries to make people commit sin? Why does the devil try to make people commit sin? Why does the devil hate God? Why does the devil hate good people? What kind of thoughts does the devil put in their minds when he tempts them to sin? What, then, is temptation to sin? How does God help us avoid sin ? Why did God send us our guardian angel? What does God's grace help us avoid? Who then helps us to keep from the temptation of the devil? Why does God help us to keep from temptation?
When do we ask God to keep us from temptation? What do we mean when we say to God ? — "lead us not into temptation." Why will God help us keep from temptation?' Why does God help us to be good? Why does He want us with Him in heaven? What are we really asking God when we say ? — "lead us not into temptation."
Why does God wish to free us from the power, of the devil? When do people obey the devil?
When are they in the power of the devil? What sends people to hell? When do we ask God to free us from the power of the devil? What do we mean when we say? "deliver us from evil." From what are we asking God to free us ? What is the greatest evil in the world? Why is sin the only real evil in the world ? What is the only thing that can separate people from God? What is the only thing that can send people to hell?
At the end of the prayer we say :' "Amen." This is a Hebrew word which means, "so be it." It is put at the end of most prayers that we say.
Now I am sure you could tell anybody about the Lord's prayer. Show me now how you would explain the meaning of this prayer. Many people do not realize how much there is in this wonderful prayer.
Have the children take up, expression by ex-pression, the whole prayer, beginning with, for instance : "Our Father who art in heaven." Lead them to explain the meaning of this. In this manner they will review the ideas that have been discussed.
It would be well here to discuss with the children the subject of daily prayers. Have them tell you the prayers they are accustomed to say morning and evening. The content of the usual daily prayers will be treated in the course of the lessons.