“Our Father Who Art…”

One type of up-man-ship is the obligatory game when growing up. The older teen would dare the younger to swim naked, put horseradish on his ice cream or put a snake in her sister’s sleeping bag during that camping trip.

To fail at these risky teasers would color you yellow and be remembered for as long as a teenager can remember anything. Dare became an acronym to refrain from drugs, but our opium crisis shows how useful creating clever sayings doesn’t promote healthy behavior. “Depletes the populace,” Scrooge might happily say.

Worse than the horseradish episode is the older one calling out the most daring of commission, “I double dare you!” If a single one didn’t do it then surely doubling down would dare any youngster to prove his mustard. (Another good dare, “Put some mustard on your cereal” or your belly will become that lowly color.)

It’s a challenge. Be brave enough. The word dare alerts us. Have courage, the nerve, even the temerity to be so bold. Add audacity to the list, and you’d dare any youngster into submission.

But is dare a submission or a giving over to something or someone greater than ourselves. We can dismiss religion and/or God as though life is a multiple choice game and you circle D, “none of the above.” How often is D chosen out of convenience or laziness instead of the daring that digs deep into our hearts and souls.

our-fatherBefore the “Our Father” is prayed in the Catholic Church, the priest gives us all the invitation. (Invitation suggests choice but I’m not sure about that part.) “At the Savior’s command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say.”

There you have it. It struck me saying that sentence today at Mass. “Dare.” It is risky to pray and attempt to live that ancient prayer that we could all say even when with fading memories. “Our Father who art in heaven…” The message is packed with all we need to know for this life’s journey and then unpacked in our words and relationships.

It’s not a horseradish or mustard dare, the “Our Father” touches our hearts with hope, forgiveness, and fortitude. God doesn’t need to double dare anyone, but He does dare us to just trying living those words that can be so easily ignored.

     Books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS. all available on Amazon.com
                                                  “Letters From My Cats,”
a collection of humorous and reflective letters written by my cats over twenty years
                                                          “Soulful Muse,”

inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
                                                  Living Faith’s Mysteries,”
inspirational reflections on the Christian seasons of Advent/Christmas & Lent/Easter – a great seasonal gift
                                        “Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture

                         “Bowling Through Life’s Stages with a Christian perspective,”
Bowling as a metaphor for religion and growing up

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on Amazon.com.
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