As father's day approaches it is a good time I have been reflecting on the meaning of Fatherhood, of family. Before time existed, God was. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God is Family. A family of persons who give of themselves so completely to the other, that they are one.
God is not like a family, He is the definition of Family. God is not like love, God is Love. The human family is called to image God, and the good news boils down to this ... from the beginning it is God's plan to include us in Him.
John 14:11,20 "Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me" , "In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you."
What does this mean for all of us Fathers, flawed human beings charged with the protection, care, nurture and education of the families God has put into our care?
For me personally, as difficult as it is, it means starting to let go. God created Adam and Eve with free will, gave them rules to live by, and then let them make their own choices. I thought watching my kids learning to ride a two wheeler was tough, God knew Adam and Eve would fall out of communion with Him, be separated from the Family participation and Love they were created for.
How did God respond to their failings? With loving discipline. Look again at the consequences of the Fall, 1) thorns 2) sweat 3) death. Suffering is not a punishment, but the loving discipline of Our Father who gives us the elements that would be required for our Salvation.
The prayers and mysteries of the Rosary serve to invite us into the family life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and praying the Rosary as a family has been such a blessing for us. My wife made me an early Father's Day gift, a stone rosary I will cherish and use for a lifetime. I pray for the strength to give my children the freedom to make their own mistakes, the wisdom and understanding to discipline them constructively when they do, and to live in the best way I can the Joy of a fully alive Catholic Family Life.