November 4, 2012

Holy Fathers on the Name of God: St. Maximus the Confessor

‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy Kingdom come’ (Matt. 6:9-10) It is appropriate that at the outset the Lord should teach those who pray to start with theology, and should initiate them into the mode of existence of Him who is by essence the Cause of all created things. For these opening words of the prayer contain a revelation of the Father, of the Name of the Father, and of the Kingdom of the Father, so that from this beginning we may be taught to revere, invoke and worship the Trinity in unity. For the Name of God the Father exists in substantial form as the Only-Begotten Son. Again the Kingdom of God the Father exists in substantial form as the Holy Spirit: what Matthew calls ‘Kingdom’ in this context one of the other Evangelists has elsewhere called ‘Holy Spirit’, saying, ‘May Thy Holy Spirit come and purify us.’ For the Father’s Name is not something which He has acquired, nor is the Kingdom a dignity ascribed to Him: He does not have a beginning, so that at a certain moment He begins to be Father or King, but He is eternal and so is eternally Father and King.

On the Lord’s Prayer.