Monday, September 16, 2019

Understanding the Lord’s Prayer (3) - Hallowed Be Thy Name

To be hallowed means to be holy. Saint John Chrysostom says the prayer “commands him who prays to seek that He [God] may be glorified also by our life.” We as God’s children, those who dare to call Him Father, to Hallow Him we too must become holy. In this way He is glorified through us. 

God is perfect, all holy. The meaning therefore cannot be to make God more holy. Saint Cyril says, “We say then, that men do not supplicate for any addition of holiness to accrue unto God over all: for who is greater than He, and able to give Him any increase?” It is we who must become like God. God must be glorified through our way of life.

Saint Theophylact says similarly,
This means, make us Holy, so that Thou mightiest be glorified through us. For just as God is blasphemed through me, so also He is hallowed through me, He is glorified as the Holy One.Theophylact on Matthew p 58
Saint Cyril of Alexandria puts it this way,
For when it is our settled conviction and belief, that He Who by nature is God over all, is Holy of the Holies, then we confess His glory and supreme majesty; then we receive His fear into our mind, and lead upright and blameless lives, that by thus becoming ourselves holy, we may be able to be near unto the holy God.
The prayer, therefore, is "May Thy Name be kept holy in us, in our minds and wills." For this is the signification of the word, "hallowed."

Again we are reminded and committing ourselves to perfecting ourselves in God’s image and likeness. We are asking for help to understand all He has commanded of us and to guide us in our daily life so we can glorify Him by the way we live. God is not requesting any addition be made to His holiness. He wants us to pray that we posses a holy mind, true faith, and develop the feeling that His name is most holy.

Saint John Cassian says,
The hallowing of God is our perfection.... We are saying in other words: Make us such, Father that we may deserve to understand and grasp how great your hallowing is and, of course, that you may appear as hallowed in our spiritual life... when people see in us our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.Cassian 9th Conference, p 342
Saint Gregory of Nyssa writes,
I think, we should pray and regard it as the sum of prayer, that the Name of God should not be blasphemed but rather be glorified and be hallowed through our way of life.
We say this prayer with the understanding that our aim in our life here on earth is to actualize in all our actions His perfection, His love, His humility. We are paying that we will in fact glorify Him by our actions. When we believe He is holy then we will have fear for Him and we will accept that His will is our means to holiness.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa puts it this way,
the meaning of these words apply to me actualizing God's blessings. Lord, through the cooperation of Your help, may I become blameless, just and pious. Abstaining from every evil, may I speak the truth, practicing righteousness and walking on the straight path. May I shine with prudence, be adorned with incorruption, and be beautified with wisdom and discernment.
One way we hallow His name is to pray for the whole world. We must pray for the believers and non-believers, for those with strong faith and those with weak faith. 

Saint Cyril writes,
Following the footsteps of Christ, Who according to the words of John is the "Advocate with the Father... for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world" (1 Jn. 2: 1). Therefore He Who is the Intercessor for the saints, and for the whole world, wills that His disciples be like Himself.
It is as Saint Cassian so simply says,
We testify that our desire and our joy is the glory of our Father, since we have become imitators of him who said: “The one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is no righteousness in him.   Cassian 9th Conference p 341

References: Saint Cyril of Alexandria’s Homilies on the Lord’s Prayer, Saint Theophylact’s commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Saint Gregory of Nyssa discourse on the Lord’s Prayer.

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