Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Each line of the Lord’s Prayer gives us insight as to why we are pro-life.
“Lead us not into temptation.” Every temptation is a lie, which makes something evil look good. Among the most masterful temptations of the evil one is to make the killing of a child seem better than the birth of that child. This is the lie that leads each day to thousands of abortions.
As we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” we keep in mind the need to protect all pregnant mothers from the deception of abortion. We also pray against the temptation to be silent and passive in the midst of this holocaust. Sins of omission are the most frequent sins, especially in regard to the culture of death. As we pray “lead us not into temptation,” we resolve to say more, do more, and sacrifice more for life!
“Deliver us from evil.” In asking this, we are not asking to be delivered from some vague force or bad luck. Rather, we are asking to be delivered from the influence and power of a real person, the devil, also known as the evil one. His kingdom of death has been defeated, and so his power is limited, but he still seeks to lead us astray.
When we pray to be delivered from the evil one, we are praying to be delivered from the culture of death, and to stay faithful to Christ’s Kingdom of Life. We are praying that we will not be deceived by the false promises of the evil one, who presents abortion as a solution to a problem, though it is no such thing.
“For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.”
The Lord’s Prayer culminates with these beautiful words which, in the Catholic tradition, we pray at Mass shortly after the rest of the prayer. In “The Gospel of Life,” Pope John Paul II wrote that human life is always a good because it reflects the glory of God. God is glorified when human beings live, because they are made in his image and likeness. In attributing all glory to God, therefore, we acknowledge the infinite value of life.
All power, furthermore, belongs to the Lord. Jesus said he had the “power” to lay down his life. That is the power of love, by which we sacrifice ourselves for the good of the other person. Abortion, instead, sacrifices the other person for the “good” of oneself. Abortion is the opposite of love. The Lord’s Prayer reminds us what real power is.
“Amen.” St. Paul proclaims that Christ is the Amen, the yes, to all the promises of God. Abortion is just the opposite. It is a big “no” to God’s plans for the child who has been conceived, and for all of us who are called to love that child rather than kill him.
The Lord’s Prayer is, indeed, the model for all prayer, and it is the model for all our striving for a Culture of Life!