When St. Teresa of
One of life's greatest mysteries is contained in the first little word, "our". It is the mystery of solidarity. Each individual who prays is instructed to call God, not just "my Father", but "our Father". Each individual is to pray in the name of the whole Church, for each Christian is a cell in the one Body of Christ, a member of God's family, a child of the same Father. "'Our'… does not express possession" [who could possess God?], "but an entirely new relationship with God" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2786).
"The Church is this new communion of God and men" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2790). "In praying 'our' Father, each of the baptized is praying in this communion" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2790), the communion of saints. We pray with all the saints and angels, surrounded by the great "cloud of witnesses" (Heb 12:1).
"In spite of the divisions among Christians, this prayer to 'our' Father remains our common patrimony" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2791). "If we are to say it truthfully, our divisions and oppositions have to be overcome [cf. Mt 5:23-24; 6:14-15]" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2792).
Because of the mystery of solidarity in this Body, all prayers echo. My prayers will have effects on my great-grandchildren, on strangers I have never met, on the most abandoned soul in purgatory. My prayers, ascending like mist today, will descend like rain at another time and place, wherever God directs it, where thirsty soil needs it. My prayers can help feed souls far removed from me in space and time, just as truly as my work or my money can help feed bodies. Spiritual transportation systems are as real as physical ones, for the spiritual universe is as real as the physical universe, and just as unified; and its gravity is as strong as physical gravity. It is called love.