Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

This morning at Mass Monsignor joked that there doesn't seem to be nearly as much fuss about Fathers Day as there is about Mothers Day. It's a pity since every child needs a mother and a father. It's not a matter of one being superior to another but each one makes vital and irreplaceable contributions to the developments of the child's character. I have a strong devotion to St. Joseph because of all the men who have ever walked the earth, he was the closest to Jesus and Mary. Out of all the men on earth, God the Father chose Joseph to be the foster father of His Only Begotten Son. When Jesus was growing up, Joseph was the model of manhood He looked up to. And he was judged worthy to be the spouse of the Mother of God.

Priests never become biological fathers, but they are spiritual fathers to countless spiritual children throughout their lives. Fathers must be infinitely patient with their children, always loving, sometimes correcting. When the USCCB published the executive summary of the Holy See's Apostolic Visitation to American seminaries, the report commented that today's seminarians all too often come from broken homes. We are inevitably influenced by our times and of course we cannot choose our families. God is the Lord of history too, and He still continues to call men to be the priests of His Son. He surely allows the evil of divorce so that He may draw a greater good from our errors. We may never know it in this life, but we shall know His purposes in the next.

How has your father shaped your life? To the casual observer, it doesn't appear that my father and I have much in common since we have very different personalities. But I can assure you, with each passing year I realize I take after him more than I ever suspected as a youth. And I love my dad for all that he's done for me. Mom came into the Church the year after I did, and I'm still praying for dad's conversion. He's not Catholic but he's been 100% supportive of me ever since I announced I was going to apply to the seminary. I hope that having a good father myself will help me be a better spiritual father some day.

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