Collects For Father and Mother
“I bow my knees to the Father of Jesus Christ,
from whom all fatherhood, in heaven and on earth, receives its name.”
words are from Saint Paul’s Epistle in the Mass of the Sacred Heart, which we
celebrated two weeks ago. They seem so appropriate to repeat today for the
civil observance of Fathers’ Day. Congratulations to those of you who are
fathers, and to those of you (men and women) who have stepped in help children
whose natural fathers could not be in their lives. You have it on the authority
of Saint Paul himself that yours is a divine vocation, named for “the Father of
the more comforting things about Christianity is our ability to think of God as
our Father in a personal sense. In the Old Testament the Jews enjoyed a
favorable relationship with God, but He remained detached, aloof, and sometimes
rather stern. But as Christians, we know that God is the Father of the Son, and
that He sent His Son into the world, somewhat like an older brother, to call His
straying younger sons and daughters back to His protective care. We are not
servants or slaves, not playthings He created for amusement like so many toy
soldiers, but we are truly the adopted sons and daughters of God.
have been fortunate enough to grow up in a stable family, we know how we are
supposed to relate to God because we remember what it was like to live in our
father's house. My Dad worked hard, so he wasn't home as much as we would have
liked. But he was always home right after work—the dog would bark, we would
hear the key turn in the lock, and the house would somehow become different
because he was home. He wasn't a terribly big man, and certainly not an
aggressive man, but his presence gave the house an aura of peace and security.
He was generous, but never with frivolous things.
doesn't take much imagination to understand that God has made us to be creatures
that gather in families in order that we might have a model to show us how we
are to relate to the divine family. Each one of us can say, “I have my father
so that I can better relate to Our Father who is in heaven”; I have my mother
so that I can better relate to Our Mother, the blessed Virgin Mother of God and
faithful spouse of God the Holy Ghost.”
surprisingly, one of the great plans of the devil in our times has been to try
to undermine our understanding of God as Father. Through the “popular wisdom,”
the devil would have us believe that God is not our Father, that the idea of
God's Fatherhood is just a false reflection of our “patriarchal male dominated
society.” The “popular wisdom” wants to do away with Our Father and replace Him
with an hermaphrodite God the “Mother/Father.” Those who are of the world
cannot understand how a pure spirit like God can have gender. The modernists
are sort of stuck with His Son being a male, but even there they often seek to
portray Him as unmanly as possible.
those of the world claim that instead of God the Father making man in His image
it was the other way around. Man, they claim, created God in the image of man.
And since ours is a patriarchal society, the God that society created is male.
Modernism, of course, requires a genderless “god” to reflect its world view with
unisex hairdos, absentee fathers, and women made into combat soldiers.
Modernism’s genderless “god” seems to work well for families with “two fathers”
or “two mothers”; for men who want to be “women” and vice versa.
father/mother is a necessary prelude to making our society unstable. If our
image of God is distorted, it necessarily follows that mankind, made in His
image will have a distorted view of itself. Make no mistake about it—whether
you call it modernism, or Marxism, or simply the work of the devil—the
destruction of society is the ultimate goal. The family must be destroyed if
the “long march through the institutions” of society is to be successful.
reality is that God is our Father—we know this on no less authority that that of
Jesus Christ, who referred to Him not only as His own Father, but as “Our
And we are likewise assured of the connection to earthly fatherhood, as Saint
Paul says: “I bow my knees to the Father of Jesus Christ, from whom all
fatherhood, in heaven and on earth, receives its name.” And we know also that
Mary is our Mother, given to us in the person of Saint John as our Lord hung
dying on the Cross.
mention these things about fatherhood and motherhood today to remind all of you
who are fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, that you have done
something holy and good. I mention them also that those of you who have no
children and may never have children will also recognize that society must be
structured on the divine model—because as citizens each and every one of us have
the opportunity to exercise a little bit of influence for the good.
Dad is still around, this is certainly a good day to call him and wish him
well; to go and see him if possible. And if he is or not, this Fathers' Day
should remind you to keep Dad and Mom in your prayers throughout the year.