“Abba, Father!”


The following writing by Chiara Lubich leads us to the heart of the Christian faith. “We have come to believe in God’s love: in these words the Christian can express the fundamental decision of his or her life” [1] It is a choice that proves to be very daring in these times, but no less true for that.

 This time we want to speak about prayer once again. It’s the life of our soul, the oxygen of the whole of our spiritual life, the expression of our love for God, the fuel for every activity we do.

But what kind of prayer will we speak about this time?

We will speak about the prayer that – with its infinite and divine riches – is completely contained in one word, in just one word which Jesus taught us and the Holy Spirit put on our lips.

But let us go to its origins.

Jesus prayed. He prayed to his Father. For him, the Father was “Abba” and that means “Daddy”, his “Dad”, to whom Jesus spoke with words of infinite trust and boundless love. He prayed to the Father from within the Trinity where he is the second divine person. It was precisely because of this special prayer that he revealed to the world who he really was – the Son of God.

But since he came on earth for us, the fact that only he could pray in this privileged way wasn’t enough for him. When he died for us and redeemed us, he made us children of God, his brothers and sisters. Through the Holy Spirit he also gave us the possibility of being taken into the heart of the Trinity, in him, together with him, through him. So we too can make the divine invocation “Abba, Father” (Mk 14.36 and Rm 8:15) – “Daddy”, “my Dad”, “our Dad” with all that this entails.

We are certain of his protection, we feel secure, we are able to abandon ourselves blindly to his love, we have divine consolations, strength and ardour – an ardour that is born in the heart of those who are certain that they are loved.

This is Christian prayer, an extraordinary prayer. It cannot be found anywhere else, or in any other religion. At the most, if people believe in a divine being that can be venerated, adored and beseeched, they do this from outside the divine being, so to speak. For us it is different: we enter into the heart of God.

And so?

Let’s remind ourselves, first and foremost, of the dizzy heights to which we are called as children of God, and, as a consequence of this, of the exceptional possibility we have of praying. Naturally, we can say “Abba, Father”; with all the depth of meaning of this word only if it is the Holy Spirit who pronounces this word in us. For this to happen, we have to be Jesus, nothing other than Jesus.

How? We know how. He is already living in us through grace but we have to do our part. This means to love, to be in an attitude of love towards God and our neighbour. The Holy Spirit will put this word on our lips with a greater fullness if we are in perfect unity with our brothers and sisters wherever Jesus is among us.

Let’s make “Abba, Father” our prayer. … In this way, we will fully correspond to our calling to believe in love, our calling to have faith in the love which lies at the root of our charism.

Yes, Love, the Father, loves us. He is our dad: what should we fear?

In the plan of love he has for each one of us, a plan which opens up for us day by day, we cannot fail to see the most extraordinary adventure to which we could be called.

“Abba” is the most characteristic prayer of the Christian and, in a special way, of us in the Focolare Movement.

So, if we are sure that we are living our Ideal, that is, if we are living love, let’s speak to the Father in the same way as Jesus did.

What will the effects be? We will experience them in our hearts.

 Chiara Lubich

(Taken from a telephone conference call, Rocca di Papa, 9th March 1989)

[1] Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas est, 1.

2 Comments

  • I continue to pray,Abba,Father trying to love my neighbour in each relationship weather harsh or cordail.I fill that love remains .I fill a satisfaction.I don’t loose.

  • Una oración unipersonal con Dios, un tú a tú, las palabras que brotan de lo más profundo del corazón, sentir su presencia y conversar con él por medio de la oración….Abba Padre…..el más intimo diálogo con Dios!!

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