Bread on the Trail

Bread on the Trail


From a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer, Saint Cyprian

After the gift of bread we ask pardon for our sins

As the Lord’s Prayer continues, we ask: Give us this day our daily bread. We can understand this petition in a spiritual and in a literal sense. For in the divine plan both senses may help toward our salvation. For Christ is the bread of life; this bread does not belong to everyone, but is ours alone.

When we say, our Father, we understand that he is the father of those who know him and believe in him. In the same way we speak of our daily bread, because Christ is the bread of those who touch his body.

Now, we who live in Christ and receive his eucharist, the food of salvation, ask for this bread to be given us every day. Otherwise we may be forced to abstain from this communion because of some serious sin. In this way we shall be separated from the body of Christ, as he taught us in the words: I am the bread of life which has come down from heaven.

Anyone who eats my bread will live for ever and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. Christ is saying, then, that anyone who eats his bread will live for ever. Clearly they possess life who approach his body and share in the Eucharistic communion. For this reason we should be apprehensive and pray that no one has to abstain from this communion, lest he be separated from the body of Christ and be far from salvation.

Christ has warned of this: If you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood you will have no life in you. We pray for our daily bread, Christ, to be given to us. With his help, we who live and abide in him will never be separated from his body and his grace.

After this we ask pardon for our sins, in the words: and forgive us our trespasses. The gift of bread is followed by a prayer for forgiveness. To be reminded that we are sinners and forced to ask forgiveness for our faults is prudent and sound. Even while we are asking God’s forgiveness, our hearts are aware of our state! This command to pray daily for our sins reminds us that we commit sin every day. No one should complacently think himself innocent, lest his pride lead to further sin.

Such is the warning that John gives us in his letter: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, the Lord is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins. His letter includes both points, that we should beg for forgiveness for our sins, and that we receive pardon when we do. He calls the Lord faithful, because he remains loyal to his promise, by forgiving us our sins. He both taught us to pray for our sins and our faults, and also promised to show us a father’s mercy and forgiveness.

RESPONSORY Psalm 31:1, 4; Psalm 25:18

In you, Lord, is my hope;
and I shall never hope in vain,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
– For your name’s sake, lead and guide me.

Look at my misery and suffering,
and forgive all my sins.
– For your name’s sake, lead and guide me.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Almighty God,
our hope and our strength,
without you we falter.
Help us to follow Christ
and to live according to your will.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Amen.



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Saint Gregory the Great: St Thomas and Healing the Wounds of our Disbelief
My Lord and My God! In a marvellous way God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his master’s body, should heal our wounds of disbelief Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. He was the only disciple absent; on his

posted 10:55:59am Jul. 01, 2012 | read full post »

A Sermon by St Augustine on St John's Gospel: Behold, I shall save my people.
‘No-one can come to me unless the Father draws him.’ You must not imagine that you are being drawn against your will, for the mind can also be drawn by love. Nor should we be afraid of being taken to task by those who take words too literally and are quite unable to understand divine truths, and

posted 11:06:00am Oct. 13, 2011 | read full post »

A Letter of St Clare to Blessed Agnes of Prague on Christian Contemplation
Consider the poverty, humility and charity of Christ Happy the soul to whom it is given to attain this life with Christ, to cleave with all one’s heart to him whose beauty all the heavenly hosts behold forever, whose love inflames our love, the contemplation of whom is our refreshment, whose gr

posted 12:43:42pm Aug. 11, 2011 | read full post »

St Cyril of Jerusalem on the Church as the Bride of Christ
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ_UL6vQlqs&playnext=1&list=PLB1C512E777D9B420 [/youtube] From The Catecheses of St Cyril of Jerusalem, an early fourth century Bishop and Doctor of the undivided Church: "The Church is called ‘Catholic’: such is the proper name of the ho

posted 10:50:57am Jul. 28, 2011 | read full post »

St Ambrose: God's temple is holy, and you are his temple
An explanation of Psalm 118 by St Ambrose My father and I will come to him and make our home with him. Open wide your door to the one who comes. Open your soul, throw open the depths of your heart to see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the sweetness of grace. Open your heart

posted 12:38:44pm Jul. 07, 2011 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.