(c. 184 – c. 253)

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Your kingdom come
If the kingdom of God according to our Lord and Saviour’s word “does not come with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ but “the kingdom of God is within us” (Lk 17:29-21), for the Word is very near, in our mouth and in our heart (cf Deut 30:14; Rom 10:8) – then it is clear that the one who prays that the kingdom of God may come prays that the kingdom of God may spring up in him, bear fruit, and be rightly perfected…. “We will come to him and make our home with him” (Jn 14:23; cf  Mt 13:23; Mk 4:20; Lk 8:15).  And I think that the kingdom of God mamy be understood to be the blessed condition of the governing mind and the right ordering of wise thoughts; and the kingdom of Christ is the saving words that go forth to those who deeds of righteousness and the other virtues.  For the Son of God is Word and Righteousness (cf. 1 Cor 1:30)....

As we make continual progress, the highest point of the kingdom of God will be established for us when the Apostle’s word is fulfilled, when Christ will deliver “the kingdom to God the Father... that God may be all in all” (1 Cor 15:24, 28). 

Your will be done on earth as in heaven
Since we understand that the will of God is done in heaven by his own who are in heaven, let us pray that in everything the will of God may be done by us on earth just as it is done by them.  This will happen when none of us do anything contrary to his will.   Moreover, the words “on earth as in heaven,” found only in Matthew, can be taken to apply to each of the petitions, so that what we are commanded to say in the prayer is, “Hallowed be your name on earth as in heaven, your kingdom come on earth as in heaven, your will be done on earth as in heaven.”  For the name of God has been sanctified by those in heaven, and the kingdom of God has been established for them, and the will of God has been done by them.  And all these things... can become ours.... Each member of the Church must pray that he may make way for the Father’s will in just the same way that Christ made way for it, when he came to do his Father’s will (cf. Jn 4:34). 

Give us today our daily bread
Jesus said to those who came to Capernaum to seek him, “Truly, truly I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (Jn 6:26).... He rightly said, “Do not labour for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you” (Jn 6:27).... In the gospel according to John, Jesus sometimes speaks about the bread as though it were something other than himself, and sometimes as though he were himself “bread”:  “Moses gave you bread from heaven, not the true bread, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven” (cf. Jn 6:32).  “I am the bread of life; the one who comes to me shall not hunger, and the one who believes in me shall never thirst” (Jn 6:34-35).  “I am the living bread come down from heaven....  The bread that I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh” (Jn 6:51).     

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In their many different idioms the classical spiritual writers have attempted to throw light on the eternal question of union with God. 
Every month we give you a brief passage from a spiritual classic.