Taking a slightly different approach to Scripture study, Marcus and JonMarc Grodi look at the Lord’s Prayer through the eyes of St. Cyprian of Carthage, a 3rd century bishop and martyr. Focusing specifically on the phrase “Thy will be done,” Marcus and JonMarc unpack St. Cyprian’s wisdom when it comes to understanding how to live in the will of God.
From a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr (Office of Readings, Twelfth week of Ordinary Time, Wednesday)
After this we add: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven; we pray not that God should do his will, but that we may carry out his will. How could anyone prevent the Lord from doing what he wills? But in our prayer we ask that God’s will be done in us, because the devil throws up obstacles to prevent our mind and our conduct from obeying God in all things. So if his will is to be done in us we have need of his will, that is, his help and protection.
No one can be strong by his own strength or secure save by God’s mercy and forgiveness. Even the Lord, to show the weakness of the human nature which he bore, said: “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me,” and then, by way of giving example to his disciples that they should do God’s will and not their own, he added: “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
All Christ did, all he taught, was the will of God.
• Humility in our daily lives,
• an unwavering faith,
• a moral sense of modesty in conversion,
• justice in acts,
• mercy in deed,
• refusal to harm others,
• a readiness to suffer harm,
• peaceableness with our brothers,
• a wholehearted love of the Lord,
• loving in him what is of the Father,
• fearing him because he is God,
• preferring nothing to him who preferred nothing to us,
• clinging tenaciously to his love,
• standing by his cross with loyalty and courage whenever there is any conflict involving his honor and his name,
• manifesting in our speech the constancy of our profession
• and under torture confidence for the fight,
• and in dying the endurance for which we will be crowned
This is what it means to wish to be a coheir with Christ, to keep God’s command; this is what it means to do the will of the Father.