As promised I am giving a weekly reflection per request of Fr. Abadie. This weeks reflection is a little late due to the busy nature of this past weekend. For those unaware, the Diocese of Lafayette ordained three new men to the priesthood of Jesus Christ this past weekend. I thought the addition of three new fathers and it being Fathers day weekend gave me a nice theme to work with (also an excuse to not write about the Trinity since I am not a trained theologian).
“Jesus said to him, I am the way; I am truth and life; nobody can come to the Father, except through me.
If you had learned to recognize me, you would have learned to recognize my Father too. From now onward you are to recognize him; you have seen him.
At this, Philip said to him, Lord, let us see the Father; that is all we ask.
What, Philip, Jesus said to him, here am I, who have been all this while in your company; hast thou not learned to recognize me yet? Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father; what dost thou mean by saying, Let us see the Father?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words I speak to you are not my own words; and the Father, who dwells continually in me, achieves in me his own acts of power.
If you cannot trust my word, when I tell you that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me,”
We have heard this popular verse many times during our Christian life. We also may have unfortunately taken it for granted. As we learned from this past Sundays feast of the Holy Trinity, we can understand in this reading that Our Lord is the mediator between us and the Father and that he and God The Father are one in substance (Consubstantial); each individual divine persons, but all together One.
In this reflection I want to take a different route and look at this in a more natural way. When Our Lord tells Phillip, “If you had learned to recognize me, you would have learned to recognize my Father too...” I see where Christ relays a truth that is observable by all men and that is that all children find their Identity in their fathers. We receive more than just our names from our fathers, but also a moral framework that shapes the way we look at the world and how we engage it. They set the habits that are integral to our lives (this is why it is important for fathers to pray with their children). Founders of peoples and nations are also referred to as fathers or patriarchs for this similar reason. They are the common source by which a people identify their existence and customs to. Absence of fathers and these fatherly attributes can have detrimental effects.
We can see in numerous Psychological studies, that children without fathers suffer serious developmental issues that potentially lead to antisocial behavior (this is a correlation of course and not always the case. There are plenty of single mothers who are exceptions to this rule, but still as a whole cannot be suitable replacements for a father). According to Federal statistics, sixty-three percent of suicides, ninety percent of runaways, eighty-five percent of behavioral disorders, seventy-one percent of high school dropouts, seventy percent of imprisoned adolescents, seventy-five percent of adolescents in substance abuse centers and seventy-five percent of anger motivated rapists all have a common denominator and that is they come from fatherless homes.
Just by observation alone, we can see that the rise of the rates of violent crimes and the rise of fatherless households go hand in hand. Fathers are mortar that holds civilization together. Much to the chagrin of the radical feminist, civilization is inherently patriarchal. We shouldn’t fight that fact but embrace it!
We need fathers more than ever! In fathers do we find our purpose and being. This is why the only substitute for this natural dilemma is faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ. In this faith we can find consolation in Our Heavenly Mother and Our Heavenly Father. As Christ says he is the only way to the Father.
Pray for our fathers that they may lead their families courageously.
Pray for our priests (especially the newly ordained Frs. Bernard, Courville and Istre) that they may also be courageous fathers in leading their spiritual children in the truth of Christ during these turbulent times.
Sancte Joseph, Terror Daemonum, Ora Pro Nobis
Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat,