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"Hallowed be thy name"

Participating in the work of salvation through prayer

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"Hallowed be thy name". We can say that this invocation is not really easy for us to understand. However, Jesus in the prayer of the Our Father not only repeats it for us, but He teaches us to make it our own request, together with the second invocation: "Thy Kingdom come".

The verb to sanctify literally means to make a saint, but God who is called Holy THREE times (Is 6: 3) does not receive holiness from anyone, rather it is He who makes men holy, those who observe His laws and put them into practice. He is the Lord who sanctifies His people (see Lv 20: 8). It is He who wants His creatures to be holy " You must be holy because I, the LORD, am holy. " (Lev 19,2)

So, how can man sanctify God? Jesus speaks of God’s Name. A name indicates the identity of a person. No one has ever seen God, we know God’s name because God Himself revealed it to Moses "I am who I am ... I am ..." (Ex 3:14) and Jesus reveals to us God is a Father.

Therefore, we can sanctify the name of God in the sense that we can recognize His identity through our praise and prayer. God is Holy, that is He is "separated" by His very nature from the other gods and sinners. We sanctify God for example when in adoration we let ourselves be looked upon, like a weaned child with its mother; (Ps 130,1-3), or when we turn to Him to ask forgiveness for the evil committed and to ask for His help as not to fall into the temptation again.

Moreover, God’s name is sanctified through our actions, our life imitating Jesus Christ, as children, making ourselves saints through the obedience to the divine commands. "The saint is a spiritual man who walks according to the Spirit of Christ and personalizes in himself the form of Christ, becoming a man like Jesus was, in words and actions" (from the commentary to the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate,  by the Bishop of Noto, Monsignor Antonio Staglianó). We sanctify the name of God when through our life we announce to others the holiness of God, His work of salvation which is for everyone, according to His salvific and universal Will. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us: " The sanctification of His name among the nations depends inseparably on our life and our prayer:" (CCC 2814).

In His book on the prayer of “the Our Father”  Pope Francis leads us to reflect on this complex theme. "Hallowed be the name of God" in us, in each of us who considers himself a believer. Many times we Christians give a bad testimony of our relationship with God, because we live as people who believe neither in God nor in man and we are often only able to do evil. This is not to sanctify the name of God: hatreds, struggles, power, abandonment of one's children. No! - Pope Francis urges - in this way, the name of God is not sanctified.

The prayer of Jesus, the Christian prayer, is first of all to leave space for God, letting Him manifest His Holiness in us, exercising His lordship of love in our lives to ensure that His Kingdom advances.

Therefore, prayer is the first and the main "work tool" in our hands. We must not pray to convince God of something, but to strengthen our faith, our patience, our ability to fight, and to fight together, we together with God.

There is a very important intention for which we should pray, "fight" to obtain it, because it serves to live according to the precepts of God: the Holy Spirit. We should learn to ask for the Holy Spirit, to ask our Heavenly Father for It  (see Lk 11: 13), so that the Holy Spirit can come into us and guide us to live with wisdom and love, according to God’s Will.

In Luisa’s Diary, in a passage from 1930, Jesus told her how sweet it is for Him to look at a soul who lets herself be worked by the Divine Will. A triumph takes place from one side to the other.

The Divine Will triumphs by giving and taking possession of it; the soul triumphs by wanting it and receiving it. Amid these exchanges of triumphs and possessions, such joy and happiness is formed on both sides. When good is done between two – then does it bring joy and happiness. Therefore the Divine Will keeps searching for Its creature in order to form together with her, Its joys, on the face of the earth.

The Eternal Volition surrounds everywhere the soul who wants to live in union with the Divine Will. It cover her totally,  to make its  way through it, and so be able to extend Its life in her... God is the Immense One who wants to restrict Himself within the human littleness, He is the Powerful One who delights in forming His life in the created weakness. He is the Holy One who wants to sanctify everything. In all things He turns around her and seems to tell her:

Look at Me, it is I. Get to know Me, I come to form my life in you”.

 (From the Diary of Luisa Piccarreta, 1933)



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