The Lord’s Prayer – Part 5 of 10

“Give us this day our daily bread”

“These three things therefore which have been asked in the foregoing petitions, are begun here on earth, and according to our proficiency are increased in us; but in another life, as we hope, they shall be everlastingly possessed in perfection. In the four remaining petitions we ask for temporal blessings which are necessary to obtaining the eternal.” -St. Augustine

“Here then the saints ask for perseverance of God, when they pray that they may not be separated from the body of Christ, but may abide in that holiness, committing no crime.” -St. Augustine

“He shows that it is to be daily taken, and that this prayer should be offered at all seasons, seeing there is no day on which we have not need, by the receiving of this bread, to confirm the heart of the inward man.” -St. John Cassian

“The expression today may be understood of this present life; thus, Give us this bread while we abide in this world.” -St. John Cassian

“We call it our bread, yet pray that it may be given us, for it is God’s to give, and is made ours by our receiving it.” -St. Gregory the Great

“It is not that bread which goes into the body, but that bread of everlasting life, which supports the substance of our soul. . . . Take daily what profits thee for the day; so live that thou mayest daily be thought worthy to receive.” -Pseudo-Augustine

“The bread of souls is the Divine power, bringing the everlasting life which is to come, as the bread which comes out of the earth preserves the temporal life. But by saying ‘daily,’ He signifies the Divine bread which comes and is to come, which we seek to be given to us daily.” -Titus of Bostra

We pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread,’ not only that we may have what to eat, which is common to both righteous and sinners; but that what we eat we may receive at the hand of God, which belongs only to the saints.” -Pseudo-Chrysostom

Quotations from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels Collected Out of the Works of the Fathers, Vols. I and III (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1841-43).

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