by St. Theophan the Recluse
From the Russian book, "Day by Day." Translated from the Russian text at
Our Father! How little we understand what this means! Christ gave us the Father; often during His earthly life He repeated the words: "your Heavenly Father," and he proclaimed the news of this adoption with additional strength just before and after His death. He says to the Father, "You have loved them as you have loved me" (John 17:23). These words should cause us to be gripped with fear: is it really possible that the Father loves us with the same measure of love that he has for his Beloved, Only-Begotten Son? This is what Christ said! Knowing the Father, he asked for him that we be giving this adoption, as the reward for His suffering. Rising from the grave, He proclaimed: "I ascend to my Father, and to your Father" (John 20:17). The adoption which He accomplished was complete.
The Apostle John, fully understanding the great value, the joy, the abundant inheritance of this adoption, proclaims: "Behold, what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called the children of God" (1 John 3:1)!
This adoption unites all of the faithful. "Our Father"... and in Him we are brothers and sisters of one another. This is relationship is higher, closer, and stronger than any other. We have unlimited access to the Father, and we should bring to Him all of our sorrows and cares. He is an inexhaustible fountain of all good things for those who trust in Him, and in Him all hearts are united, for "There is one God and Father of all, Who is above all, in through all, and in you all" (Eph 4:6).