Everyday Asceticism: My Son’s Questions about “Our Father”

Last night at Everyday Asceticism, I reflected on my son’s questions about the “Our Father” or “Lord’s Prayer.”

Brendan, who is four years old, has been able to recite the prayer from memory for over a year. I have prayed it with him nearly every night since he was born. So now that he’s bigger he’s the one who says it. As a reward, he gets a smiley face on his chore chart.

After a few months of having him pray, he started asking questions. “What’s evil?” was the first one. “What’s heaven?” was the second. He has also asked what “our daily bread,” “our trespasses,” and “temptation” are. These are great questions!

I’ve tried my best to answer him in ways he could understand.

“What’s evil?”

“Evil is when good things go bad.”

“What’s heaven?”

“Heaven is where everything is good and right and true.”

“What’s our daily bread?”

“That’s everything we need every day.”

“What’s trespasses?”

“Trespasses are when we do things that we shouldn’t do.”

“What’s temptation?”

“Temptation is when we feel like we want to do something we shouldn’t. It can also just mean when life gets hard.”

Read the whole post here.

Everyday Asceticism: On Impure Prayer

Today at Everyday Asceticism, I examine the virtues of impure prayer:

I do not know how to explain even the lightly mystical experience of the presence of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Some days I kick myself at night, wondering (often, upon reflection, unfoundedly) whether my evening prayer is the first time I’ve prayed all day since my morning prayer. Whether justly or not, thoughts and ideas can circle about, planting doubts as to my piety and tainting the purity of my mind and heart. But yet, I pray anyway, and he’s there. He’s always there.

Read the rest here.