Check out this thought-provoking article in which Dr Scott Hahn compares the responsibilities of priests to those of fathers.
Archive for the ‘Fatherhood’ category
We’re now into June and headed for Father’s Day. I wanted to post this now (knowing how busy our schedules can be) in the hope that you will try to find time before Father’s Day to listen to this tremendously inspiring talk on “Fatherhood” by Fr John Riccardo. He delivered the talk a few years ago, but I find myself coming back to it again and again. It is encouraging, convicting and challenging. The manner in which Fr Riccardo honors his own father throughout the talk is an example for us all. Enjoy!
Authentic male leadership, Gail indicated, is not domineering, but able to focus on what is best in the lives of others. Men who find their true identity and vocation in Christ, he said, must show others how to “find themselves in him.” Through this way of spiritual fatherhood, he said, “the light of Christ in families” becomes manifest, and the Church can experience renewal for what Gail speculated was its “final conflict” with hostile forces.
So said Brian Gail, the author of the book “Fatherless” in an address in Denver this past week, as this news report informs us. Brian and his wife have been married for 40 years, and have seven children. They live in the Philadelphia area. You can listen to Brian’s entire address here. I highly recommend it! (don’t miss his indirect reference to Bp Martino early in the talk, who may well be in the audience!)
The subject at our GOTR CMF meeting in Ashley yesterday morning was “Signposts” Lesson 37, entitled “In My Father’s House: A Man and His Father.” The lesson began by having us read some Scripture and Catechism selections about Jesus’ experience as an earthly son, and about sonship and family life in general. It encouraged each of us to consider our experiences and interaction with our own father, and the resulting lessons learned about fatherhood. We had a lively discussion!
Later on yesterday, I encountered a section in George Weigel’s book “The End and the Beginning” in which he was explaining the importance of paternal love in John Paul II’s character. After reviewing JP2’s relationship with his father and with father-figure Cardinal Sapieha (under whom he entered the clandestine seminary during the Nazi occupation), Weigel offers this:
Wojtyla’s concept of spiritual paternity was also shaped by his meditation on St Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, about whom he wrote the 1989 apostolic exhortation Redemptoris Custos [Guardian of the Redeemer]. More than a decade later, in Alzatevi andiamo!, John Paul II returned to the largely unknown figure of Joseph while making a striking theological observation about what the “guardian” had contributed to the human formation of Christ, and to the Christian understanding of God:
We know that Jesus addressed God with the word “Abba” – a loving, familiar word that would have been used by children in first-century Palestine when speaking to their fathers. Most probably Jesus, like other children, used this same word when speaking to Saint Joseph. Can any more be said about the mystery of human fatherhood? Jesus himself, as a man, experienced the fatherhood of God through the father-son relationship with Saint Joseph. This filial encounter with Joseph then fed into Our Lord’s revelation of the paternal name of God….Christ in his divinity had his own experience of divine fatherhood and sonship within the Most Holy Trinity. In his humanity, he experienced sonship thanks to Saint Joseph.
From the point of view of Karol Wojtyla’s Trinitarian faith then, paternity was the source of all that is. He put that conviction most concisely in concluding his 1964 essay, “Reflections on Fatherhood”:
And in the end….everything else will turn out to be unimportant and inessential, except for this: father, child, love.
And then, looking at the simplest things, all of us will say: could we have not learned this long ago? Has this not always been embedded at the bottom of everything that is?
Interesting confluence of things on fatherhood, eh?
Now if I could just be that kind of father!!
Maurice Blumberg’s recent article on the Catholic Man Channel of Catholic Exchange (both linked on our right sidebar) references a Christian movie, due out next year, about four police officers, each in a different stage of fatherhood. Here’s the trailer:
Also, Fr Larry Richards (also on right sidebar) was interviewed on the 9/2 episode of EWTN’s “Life on the Rock.” He spoke about his personal journey, and his book “Be A Man.” You can watch the show at this link until next Thursday (9/9).