On this Trinity Sunday, I want to borrow a few thoughts from three advisors I turned to for Father’s Day. FIRST, a reminder to men from Fr. Ed Broom, “to be a good father he should first be a good ‘Son of God the Father.’ The father of the family represents and reflects the image of God the Father. If a father has an identity crisis in the spiritual realm – that is to say, he does not understand his intimate relationship to God the Father – then he will not be able to transmit to his children and family an authentic vision of God the Father. Until we have restored the essential role of the father in the family to his proper place the world will suffer intensely.”
SECOND, from one of our parish seminarians Alex Clark, who is living with us this summer. “Looking at all the advertisements this time of year, it can seem that fatherhood consists primarily in grilling meat, sporting events, man caves and the newest electronic gadgets. But fatherhood is so much more than that! Today, on Trinity Sunday, we are reminded that one of the Persons of the Trinity’s very identity is Father. God the Father is the 1st and true model of fatherhood. God is THE Father, and gives His sons the amazing opportunity to partake in His Fatherhood, whether that be biological or spiritual. The firm yet gentle protecting love of a father, the true essence of human fatherhood is the mind-blowing gift of being able to live as an extension of the love of God the Father. A human father is a window through which the face of God the Father gazes and smiles with love upon His sons and daughters. Human fatherhood is meant to be an extension and manifestation of God’s divine Fatherhood. This is so radically important amidst a culture that would like to pretend fatherhood is nothing more than a biological accident or ‘gender stereotype.’ In my own life, I have been profoundly blessed with so many examples of fatherhood: Starting to recognize even a minute glimpse of my own father’s DECADES of ceaseless and selfless work, deep concern for his family and man most responsible for giving me the gift of my Catholic faith that has taught of God the Father’s constant care and guidance in my own life. Being able to witness my brother gaze upon his newborn son with an awe and radiant joy that is beyond words leads me to pray with the gaze that God the Father turns toward His beloved children. Fr. Bline’s joy, gentleness and Sacramental Priesthood reveals the Father’s Heart… All of these amazing fathers, and so many more, have helped to teach me the true meaning of Father’s Day and the true identity of God the Father, the First Person of the Trinity. Happy Father’s Day, especially to my own dad. I love you dad and am profoundly grateful to be able to call you ‘father.’”
The THIRD voice on fatherhood comes from our beloved spiritual Father Francoís de Sales, “God takes pleasure to see you take your little steps; and like a good father who holds his child by the hand, He will accommodate His steps to yours and will be content to go no faster than you. Why do you worry?” So let’s pray for men to be a father with the heart of The Father, God. For those who have fallen away or struggle with being a father of love, ask St. Joseph to intercede now! And for those whose fathers have died, may we entrust them into The Father’s arms and His eternal love.
Pax, Fr. Bline (only son of Jerry)