Catechism of the Catholic Church

668 Part Four We must remember . . . and know that when we call God “our Father” we ought to behave as sons of God. 38 You cannot call the God of all kindness your Father if you preserve a cruel and inhuman heart; for in this case you no longer have in you the marks of the heavenly Father’s kind­ ness. 39 We must contemplate the beauty of the Father without ceas­ ing and adorn our own souls accordingly. 40 2785 Second, a humble and trusting heart that enables us “to turn and become like children”: 41 for it is to “little children” that the Father is revealed. 42 [The prayer is accomplished] by the contemplation of God alone, and by the warmth of love, through which the soul, molded and directed to love him, speaks very familiarly to God as to its own Father with special devotion. 43 Our Father: at this name love is aroused in us . . . and the confidence of obtaining what we are about to ask. . . . What would he not give to his children who ask, since he has al­ ready granted them the gift of being his children? 44 III. “O ur ” F ather 2786 “Our” Father refers to God. The adjective, as used by us, does not express possession, but an entirely new relationship with God. 2787 When we say “our” Father, we recognize first that all his promises of love announced by the prophets are fulfilled in the new and eternal covenant in his Christ: we have become “his” people and he is henceforth “our” God. This new relationship is the purely gratuitous gift of belonging to each other: we are to respond to “grace and truth” given us in Jesus Christ with love and faithfulness. 45 38 St. Cyprian, De Dom. orat. 11: PL 4:526B. 39 St. John Chrysostom, De orat Dom. 3: PG 51, 44. 40 St. Gregory of Nyssa, De orat. Dom. 2: PG 44, 1148B. 41 Mt 18:3. 42 Cf . Mt 11:25. 43 St. John Cassian, Coll. 9, 18: PL 49, 788C. 44 St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. in monte 2, 4, 16: PL 34, 1276. 45 Jn 1:17; cf. Hos 2:21-22; 6:1-6. 2562 443 782