The Lord’s Prayer – Part 8 of 10

“Those who trespass against us”

“He then who taught us to pray for our sins, has promised us that His fatherly mercy and pardon shall ensue. But He has added a rule besides, binding us under the fixed condition and responsibility, that we are to ask for our sins to be forgiven in such sort as we forgive them that are in debt to us.” -St. Cyprian of Carthage

“Considering then these things, we ought to show mercy to our debtors. For they are to us, if we are wise, the cause of our greatest pardon; and though we perform only a few things, we shall find many. For we owe many and great debts to the Lord, of which, if the least part should be exacted from us, we should soon perish.” -St. John Chrysostom

“This is not said of debts of money only, but of all things in which any sins against us, and among these also of money; . . . he sins against you, who does not return money due to you, when he has whence he can return it.” -St. Augustine

“With what hope then does he pray, who cherishes hatred against another by whom he has been wronged? As he prays with a falsehood on his lips, when he says, I forgive, and does not forgive, so he asks indulgence of God, but no indulgence is granted him. . . . He who does not pray in the manner Christ taught, is not Christ’s disciple.” -Pseudo-Chrysostom

“If one have been moved by a sense of his sin to ask forgiveness of him against whom he has sinned, he is no more to be thought on as an enemy, that there should be any thing hard in loving him.” -St. Augustine

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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