Our Father who art in heaven [Mt 6:9]. O my Lord, how You do show Yourself to be the Father of such a Son; and how Your Son does show Himself to be the Son of such a Father! May You be blessed forever and ever! This favor would not be so great, Lord, if it came at the end of the prayer. But at the beginning, You fill our hands and give a reward so large that it would easily fill the intellect and thus occupy the will in such a way one would be unable to speak a word.
O Son of God and my Lord! How is it that You give so much all together in the first words? Since You humble Yourself to such an extreme in joining with us in prayer and making Yourself the Brother of creatures so lowly and wretched, how is it that You give us in the name of Your Father everything that can be given? For You desire that He consider us His children, because Your word cannot fail [Cf. Mt 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lk 21:33]. You oblige Him to be true to Your word, which is no small burden since in being Father He must bear with us no matter how serious the offenses.
If we return to Him like the prodigal son, He has to pardon us [Cf. Lk 15:11-32]. He has to console us in our trials. He has to sustain us in the way a father like this must. For, in effect, He must be better than all the fathers in the world because in Him everything must be faultless. And after all this, He must make us sharers and heirs with You [Cf. Eph 3:15; 2 Pt 1:4].
Saint Teresa of Avila
The Way of Perfection, 27:1–2
Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Featured image: This detailed image of Return of the Prodigal Son by the famed Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669) was executed in Holland circa 1668. Rembrandt painted the work in oil on canvas; it entered the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1766 as part of the collection of Empress Catherine the Great.