Sunday, June 24, 2012

Father's....Day....Smorgasbord....

Usually I write and then come up with a heading. Well this week it is different. The heading came to me first and now I have a blog to write! Between Saturday and Sunday I celebrated five masses. There was a memorial mass Saturday morning. At the beginning of the evening mass we had the first anointing of the Sacrament of Baptism. Reminding us that we are all called to be the continuation of the revelation of our Father-God. In that Sacrament we are consecrated, made holy, to reveal the very Holiness of God. We are chosen, blessed, set apart so we can continue the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ. He Who is, the fullness of the revelation of God, has chosen each one of us to continue the revelation of Mystery. In order for this to happen, we each have been gifted with a unique part of The Mysterious Presence. This unique part of the Infinite has been chosen for us from all of eternity, within. This is the foundation that leads us to believe in the essential goodness, (Godliness) dignity, and sanctity of each and every person. This sanctity, dignity, and innate holiness does not depend on any outside judgement. Our God sees into the depths of who we are. He sees what he has created, and "indeed it is very good." (He sees not the way we see,right?) We have come from His essence, which is infinite love, and we will, without interruption, be sustained with that creative love. We are, beloved daughter/son, and nothing can take that away from us. Even if, and we so often do, stray away, The Good Shepherd is there to hunt us down, and carry us back, on his shoulders, to the security of His sheepfold. There was the blessing for all those who have to face the daily challenge of "fatherhood". Those men and women who have such a mysterious role to play in lives of so many. In some unique, unseen and hence mysterious way our experience of earthly fatherhood has a direct impact on the relationship we have with, our heavenly Father. We are told, "we have with God what we have in our human experience". So our everyday experience, with that presence which is father to us, and for us, for us, plays an essential role in our journey of faith. In the same way, research has revealed, that what we have in the relationship with the mother presence, will have an impact on ourselves and the relationship we have with, mother church. By the time the fourth mass was over I was pretty tired. With the, "being tired", came a inner feeling of, wellbeing. Everything was not just okay, it was way beyond okay. There was a feeling of being full, or even better still, of being satiated. Then the thought came to me, “Joe , why would you not feel so blessed? You were fed at a Father's Day Spiritual Smorgasbord. It was "rich food, and choice wine" indeed.” The following parts of the prayer of blessing resonated with me; Blessed are you, Lord, and Father of all life, Who has given to us the gift of the father of our family.… We thank you for the numerous good things that are ours because of them. Their love……has been a sign of Your divine love and a sharing in Your holy love. Their continuous concern for our needs and welfare is a mirror of Your holy providence….. Bless them this day with your strength and holy power, that they may continue to be a sign of you, Our God, and a parent to our families. I am so well aware there is a dark side to fatherhood, just as there is the dark side of motherhood. I have journeyed, and still journey with those who have been hurt, used, and abused, by that person who was to be the protector. To have a healthy relationship with themselves, with others, and then with God, the tough journey healing must be embarked on. This is a difficult road, hence so very few dare to traverse it. Each person will have to meet head on the issues of anger, fear, and shame. They need to be surrounded by those who are going to "stand by” them, in their agony, and not come up with pious platitudes. “Recovery is a process, and cannot be short circuited.” You cannot rush the birthing of new life. To just,"stand by”, as Mary did with her crucified Son takes immense courage, and deep faith. It is all we can do, as the win is so great and we do not have the words to alleviate the pain. All we have is presence, and in being present we are now a channel through which The Great Healer channels Himself. Let us keep in our prayers all those who have the healing journey to travel that may be gifted with the gift of perseverance. To give up the quest is so easy. To endure to the promised land of health one traverses many deserts. In those deserts wild beasts and ministering angels WILL be encountered.