The Carthusians talk about the cross as the still point in the turning world. I like to think that this prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, is another kind of still point. The words of this prayer are the same ones I prayed yesterday, the same words I spoke as an awkward teenager, as a young child, words formed by my infant mouth before I even knew their meaning.
The world keeps turning; I keep growing and changing, but the prayer stays the same. Christ taught it to his disciples who taught it to their disciples, taught it to their families, taught it to anyone who would listen and so it has reached me and you. Like ripples in still water, this prayer has spread out through space and time. It is a prayer said by prisoners before executions and a prayer said by kings before their coronation. A prayer said by humble monks and proud monks, grieving mothers and expectant mothers. It is a prayer being sung, shouted, whispered, groaned, and droned by countless people at this very moment.
Say the words slowly, just once more, and there, in that still point, encounter God’s steadfast and expansive love.
—Cyril Pinchak, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic teaching English at University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, Detroit MI. He is also a published poet.