Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

Fathers beget children with their wives. They want the best for their children and try to find a way to provide food, shelter, clothing, and safety for them. Sometimes the providing becomes the objective rather than the means to an end. All of the father's attention and efforts are directed to the career and the children are secondary in his life. Children become nuiscances and wives objects of pleasure.

The innate dignity of these persons becomes trampled upon in the name of bettering the social and economic standings of the family. This leaves little room for a relationship of a father to a mother and to his children.

Dad is only a provider without being a mentor; an authority absent his purpose and meaning. The meaning and purpose of fatherhood is not only the begetting but the rearing and education of offspring to the glory of God the Father. A father who cannot play with his children or pray with his children is one who has lost his meaning. This leads to distance in the relationship, and discipline is done more with anger and annoyance at being bothered with the responsibilities of parenthood.

Father's need to renew their convenant with God the Father first and see the complete outpouring of God's love for them. This is done through a personal prayer life in addition to frequenting the sacraments, especially Eucharist and Reconciliation. Then taking from prayer the example of being poured out on behalf of someone else (as Jesus poured himself out for us on the Cross)fathers can give of themselves to their children and their wives.

You cannot give what you don't have. The strength to be a man, to be a father and not only be responsible for the physical needs of children, but also for their spiritual, psychological, and emotional needs can only come from the realization of the Love that God the Father has for us men through his love for his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, which is the Holy Spirit...the Spirit of Love, of Truth, of Unity, the Lord the giver of Life.

" And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him" (Luke 11:9-13).

The Holy Spirit will be your source of strength as a father. The Spirit will lead you to all truth and convict you of the truth in the womb of your fatherly heart.
The Spirit will lead you to examine the life you have been leading and give you the strength and the courage to repent and ask for mercy. No man can lead a Christian life without the grace of the Holy Spirit. No man can be a father without the aid of the "Father of the poor". May the Holy Spirit, this father's day, give us "poor" fathers a renewed strength and vigor in our obligation to love, protect, and serve our families. Amen.