The Lord’s Prayer – Part 6 of 10

“Our daily bread”

“Granting that the chief concern of the saints should be to obtain spiritual gifts, still it becomes them to see that they seek without blame, according to our Lord’s command, their common bread. . . . It is not the part of those who have bread to seek it, but rather of those who are oppressed with want.” -St. Cyril of Alexandria

“He says ‘Our’ for two reasons. First, because all things that God gives us He gives through us to others, that of what we receive of Him we may impart to the helpless. Whoso then of what he gains by his own toil bestows nothing on others, eats not his own bread only, but others bread also. Secondly, he who eats bread got righteously, eats his own bread; but he who eats bread got with sin, eats others bread.” -Pseudo-Chrysostom

“He teaches us to pray not for money or the gratification of lust, but for daily bread; and as yet further restriction, He adds, ‘this day,’ that we should not trouble ourselves with thought for the coming day.” -St. John Chrysostom

“To wish for the necessaries of life and no more, is not improper; for such sufficiency is not sought for its own sake, but for the health of the body, and for such garb and appliances of the person, as may make us to be not disagreeable to those with whom we have to live in all good reputation. For these things we may pray that they may be had when we are in want of them, that they may be kept when we have them.” -St. Augustine

“We must then require of God the necessities of life; not varieties of meats, and spiced wines, and the other things which please the palate, while they load thy stomach and disturb thy mind, but bread which is able to support the bodily substance, that is to say, which is sufficient only for the day, that we may take no thought of the morrow. But we make only one petition about things of sense, that the present life may not trouble us.” -St. John Chrysostom

“Justly therefore does the disciple of Christ make petition for to-day’s provision, without indulging excessive longings in his prayer.” -St. Cyprian of Carthage

“He adds, ‘daily,’ that a man may eat so much only as natural reason requires, not as the lust of the flesh urges.” -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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Sayings of Catholic saints and sages: spiritual food for meditation and reflection.
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