Maxiavelli: The Prayer that Embodies Teachings of All Religions

Italian Landscape by Antal Ligeti

"Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
May Your kingdom come. May Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.
And never bring us into temptation, but deliver us from evil." (Matthew 6:9-13)

As any prayer, this is one that is so simple yet so deep. I always found it interesting because it embodies the teachings of all religions in the world; being, thus, an universal prayer that could be said by any individual professing any religion.

"Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your Name."

Despite not being visible; despite remaining in occultation; God's name is to be sanctified through our actions (e.g. to follow His basic rules [the Tens Commandments are a start] and fulfil the mission bestowed upon each and everyone of us).

"May Your kingdom come. May Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

God's kingdom is inner peace. This state of mind and spirit can be achieved through any form of meditation (e.g. Prayer, Tai Chi Chuan, Dhyana, breath meditation, Raja Yoga, Mantra Chanting etc) and through one simple yet complex exercise: Mushin. What does "Mushin" mean? It means "no mind"; it means that you do not allow your mind to drift, to over-think and trigger fear and anxiety; it means that you exercise the Right Effort (to avoid distracting the mind from its task and, by consequence, allow confusion to take over).
God's Will implies many things (and each religion will argue differently upon this); however, I will sum it up in one sentence: fulfil the mission which you were sent to earth for. "On earth as it is in heaven" is usually interpreted as God's Omnipotence; but it should also be connoted to the Hermetic Law of Correspondence "As above, so below!".

"Give us today our daily bread."

No, this doesn't mean that God will write us a check or miraculously put a pita bread in front of us. This passage is a confirmation of God's commandment "In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return unto the ground" and a plea that He give us the strength, the health and provide the opportunities to sustain our household (to start with, He could help us putting some sense in those politicians who, breaking the rule of Right Action, come up with regulations that hinder the lives of those who seek an alternative way to provide for their family).

"And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us."

Who is without blemish? No one; hence the cycle of transmigration. There are daily transgressions that are inevitable to many: envy, jealousy, vanity, gluttony, sloth, adultery, wrath, hatred, resentment, pettiness, etc - God may wash these sins away if He chooses to do so; but His willingness to forgive is what should serve as an example to us: we are to be willing to forgive as well (and return the mind to a wholesome state).

"And never bring us into temptation, but deliver us from evil." 

This is a nice request, although it is more than proven that God put us to the test from times to times - ask Job. When God decides that our faith, our assurance and our resolve need to be tested, He will allow Satan (the Accuser) to tempt, to guile and to play us. He will deliver us from evil, though, by forbidding Satan from claiming our soul for himself.

Before leaving, I would like to wish Pope Benedict XVI all the best in this new phase of his life. I understand well why he resigned and I commend him for doing so because, unlike many politicians, he does not hamper Progress.

Comments

  1. What do you think of the voices saying that the pope is resigning cause of homosexuality scandals in the church? I am not much of a prayer man but I enjoyed this post very much cause it offers a different perspective of prayers. They can be universal.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      I think those voices like gossip too much.
      I am glad you enjoyed it *bowing*. They can be universal indeed.

      Anonymous, thank you ever so much for your input :D. Do come back.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. I was taught this prayer in the Christian mission school that I studied in and subsequently again as part of the catechism classes that I attended to humour a RC lady friend. I like it and despite reservations about heaven, I can understand others wanting to hang on to the separation. I think that the most powerful prayer ever is the Serenity Prayer used by the twelve step programmers and attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr. "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."

    I think that the Pope has enough on his plate without my adding to his problems!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rummy :D!

      You always put a smile on my face, I swear to God...to humour a lady friend *nodding*.
      The Serenity Prayer is also very beautiful and powerful indeed - thank you for sharing, my friend.

      True.

      Rummy, thank you ever so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. I think it was a very brave thing for the Pope to resign. He could have continued on, allowing others to take over, but his integrity would not allow it. He knew it was better for someone else to take over. I think he deserves a good rest now.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi D! :D

      I totally agree with you. May God Bless him in his new journey.

      D, thank you ever so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. Mushin is a very difficult exercise. I have been trying for years and still ain't there.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      Yes, it is. I am sure you will get there eventually, though :D.

      Thank you so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. I hate it when some atheists give me that attitude "If God exists then tell him to write me a check!" I just feel like giving them a good punch...I'm serious!
    This is a nice prayer and I am glad that my Jewish brother Jesus came up with it; it could be said by any of us.
    Pope Benedict is a good man, a good cleric; I think he did a great job and I wish him luck.

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      LOL LOL I know what you mean; but please do not make use of violence ;).
      It can indeed be said by any one of us.

      I agree.

      Ana, thank you ever so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  6. Hello Max, this post blew me away. My favourite prayer because it is so universal, and it actually is a Jewish prayer as Jesus was a great Rabbi/Teacher. He taught the inner meaning of the old testament. Be a good person.

    And it is said, if we forgive those who trespassed against us before we sleep, God will forgive us before we wake,

    Thank you Max :)

    Always both a pleasure and an honour to read you

    Kindest regards, Jeffrey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeffrey :D!

      I am glad you enjoyed it :). Indeed it is a Jewish prayer.
      I didn't know that saying; but it is a beautiful and deep one as well: thank YOU *bowing*.

      You are too generous, Jeff. Thank you so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. Max, since you mentioned the ten commandments, is it lawful to blog on the seventh day (יום השבת)?

    And thanks for giving me a different take on the prayer.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Looney :D!

      It depends on whom you ask. If you ask a more strict orthodox Jew, he/she will probably tell you that it is not lawful. If you ask a more moderate Jew he/she will ask you: is blogging work or leisure? (if it is work, then it is not lawful to blog on Yom Hashabbat; but if it is leisure, then it might be). If you ask one of those totally relaxed reformist Jews they will tell you "Man, do whatever you want. God will understand!"....but what do you think? Is it lawful to blog on the Lord's Resting Day?

      You are most welcome *bowing*.

      Looney, thank you so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
    2. Now I am wondering if you are reformist, moderate or orthodox!

      I am more of the view that it isn't work, so ... Although us American Christians seem to be off one day with regard to Yom Hashabbat.

      I have been searching for a regular Hebrew news podcast or maybe a variety show, but not found one yet.

      Delete
    3. Looney,

      "Now I am wondering if you are reformist, moderate or orthodox!"

      LOL...*nodding*...as a mystic, I am none of the above.

      I understand what you mean.
      I came across this site (of webcast, podcast, radio & TV programs):

      http://www.jewishwebcasting.com/

      Then let me know what you think of it, please.
      This week's post is based on a book you suggested in your blog....

      Cheers

      Delete
    4. Hmmm. Now I am going to have visions Maxlijah.

      The link looks perfect. Zionist rap music is exactly what I was hoping for!

      Delete
    5. LOL LOL LOL LOL "Maxlijah" LOL LOL loved it! I might use it for a segment next year or something lol *nodding*.

      lol I knew it: Zionist rap has "Looney" written all over it :)...

      Delete

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