The Catechism of Trent – THE SEAL OF THE LORD’S PRAYER
For since, as St. Cyprian remarks, by prayer man converses with God, it happens in a wonderful manner that the divine Majesty is brought nearer to those who are engaged in prayer than to others, and enriches them with singular gifts. Those, therefore, who pray devoutly, may not be inaptly compared to persons who approach a glowing fire; if cold, they derive warmth; if warm, they derive heat. Thus, also, those who approach God (in prayer) depart with a warmth proportioned to their faith and fervour; the heart is inflamed with zeal for the glory of God, the mind is illumined after an admirable manner, and they are enriched exceedingly with divine gifts, as it is written: Thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness.
An example for all is that great man Moses. By intercourse and converse with God he so shone with the reflected splendours of the Divinity, that the Israelites could not look upon his eyes or countenance.
The more familiar these truths are to the mind, the more piously do we venerate, and the more fervently do we worship God, and the more delightfully do we taste how sweet is the Lord, and how truly blessed are all who hope in Him.
When agitated by fear he began his prayer thus: Many are they who rise up against me: many say to my soul, There is no salvation for him in his God; but at length, armed with fortitude and holy joy, he adds: I will not fear thousands of the people surrounding me.
In another Psalm, after he had lamented his misery, we see him towards the end, reposing confidence in God and rejoicing exceedingly in the hope of salvation: In peace in the self�same, I will sleep, and I will rest.
Again, with what fear and trembling must the Prophet not have been agitated when he exclaimed: O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation, nor chastise me in thy wrath! Yet, on the other hand, what confidence and joy must not have been his when he added: Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping!
When filled with dread of the wrath and fury of Saul, with what lowliness and humility does he not implore the divine assistance: Save me, O Lord, by thy name, and Judge me in thy strength! and yet, in the same Psalm he adds these words of joy and confidence: Behold, God is my help; and the Lord is the helper of my soul.
Let him, therefore, who has recourse to holy prayer approach God his Father, fortified by faith and animated by hope, not doubting that he will obtain those blessings of which he stands in need.
This�interpretation has been approved by the constant usage of the Church of God. In the Sacrifice of the Mass, when the Lord’s Prayer is said she does not assign the word amen to the server who answers: But deliver us front evil. She reserves it as appropriate to the priest himself, who, as mediator between God and man, answers Amen, thus intimating that God has heard the prayers of His people.
This practice, however, is not common to all the prayers, but is peculiar to the Lord’s Prayer. To the other prayers the server answers Amen, because in every other this word only expresses assent and desire. In the Lord’s Prayer it is an answer, intimating that God has heard the petition of His suppliant.
Nay, more, by this word we most earnestly beg of God that all our preceding Petitions may be granted; or rather, understanding that they have been all granted, and feeling the divine assistance powerfully present with us, we cry out together with the Prophet: Behold God is my helper; and the Lord is the protector of my soul.
Nor can anyone doubt that God is moved by the name of His Son, and by a word so often uttered by Him who, as the Apostle says, was always heard for his reverence.