Calling God “Our Father”

“‘Whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,’ says St. Paul; and, again, he tells us: ‘Because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father’ (Gal 4:6). ‘For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are sons of God. And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ.’ (Rom 8:16-17) Can anything show so clearly the glory of grace as the fact that it makes us children of God? Or could anything excite more our love of God than His adoption of us as His children? ‘Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God’ (1 John 3:1).”

“The words ‘Our Father who art in heaven’ should be a revelation of the goodness of God to us. . . . St. Peter Chrysologus in his instructions to his catechumens tells them to pause and tremble at the thought of the mighty condescension of God, that whereas they were sinners and slaves, subject to frailty and every vice, He bade them call Him Father.”

“With all our likeness to Him on the part of our rational soul, which is His image, we are not God’s kindred; we are not begotten by Him, neither have we received His Divine Nature. Only the Eternal and Uncreated Word is in a strict sense the Son of God. He alone is begotten of the Father, and proceeds from Him as Light of Light, God of God, Himself One God with the Father from all eternity.”

“How can mortal man approach with confidence Him before whom the seraphim prostrate in deepest reverence and veil their faces? To this there is the all-sufficient answer: What is impossible with men is possible to God; what we cannot claim as a right is gratuitously granted us by our infinitely loving and merciful God.”

“The Son of God undertook this great work of acquiring the life of children of God for us by the shedding of His blood. . . . He was made our Brother in the flesh to make us His brethren in His Divine glory. . . . At the Last Supper His prayer for us is that we may be all one in Him, as He is one with the Father.”

Quotations from Alice Lady Lovat, The Marvels of Divine Grace: Meditations Based on the “Glories of Divine Grace” (Original Treatise by Fr. Nieremberg, S.J., Entitled “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia”) (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1917).

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