Observe the little word in the line of the Lord’s Prayer that gets to the heart of it all…
“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
This petition is astonishing…. according to the second phrase, our petition will not be heard unless we have first met a strict requirement. Our petition looks to the future, but our response must come first, for the two parts are joined by the single word "as." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2838.)
That little word “as” … is AS-tonishing! No getting around it. It’s the stickler, the caveat, the tipping point, for the truth of this teaching.
How many times have I asked God’s forgiveness for something, when I really had no clue that I was to extend it to others first? Often, I just rattled off the words of prayer, not paying attention to what they meant.
The Lord desires my true conversion, so I had to get it straight: “Our response must come first.” Then the Lord “hears” my prayer.Ok, it's not an easy teaching, but you'll find the rest here.