Thursday, June 18, 2015

Our Father Knows You Well

By Beth DeCristofaro

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:8)

Father, may we be one in you.
May we be one in you as he is in you,
and you are in him.

Glory, glory and praise to you.
Glory and praise to you forever, amen,
forever, amen.
        (from “Abba, Father”)

“Daddy!” shouted the priest, arms raised high like a toddler reaching to be swung up on high.  In a homily he explained that Abba, the word Jesus used in prayer was equivalent to “Daddy” and he encouraged us to delight in God’s invitation to be intimate and personal when we prayed.  His yell jolted all of us in the congregation and his point has stayed with me – be glad in the presence of my Divine God.

In my life I’ve been very blessed with many nurturing father figures.  My own dad, academic but with a sweet sense of fun and a collection of pretty awful puns.  From him I learned that depth of faith is a good foundation for one’s moral compass.  My grandfather, rough and tumble military officer, was a disciplinarian but never reminded me of my past transgressions.  He was strong and solid.  Fr. Martin Hayes, OSB, my uncle, exposed me to vocation.  At times I could tell that living in a monastery was difficult but he was loyal and committed to Benedictine rule and his Brothers.  Mr. McNeil was my fifth grade teacher who was kind to everyone in his unruly class.  Salvatore DeCristofaro, my father in law, valued and placed family first before all else.  Joe, his oldest son, had a quick wit and exhibited a huge sense of hospitality.  And of course the father of my own children, Tony, with whom I have shared my spiritual journey raised two compassionate daughters who are both filled with a sense of justice.

There are more men and women who model for me elements of the Divine Father, illustrating God’s goodness here on earth.   Like they did for me I strive to live “Thy will be done (starting with me) on earth…”

Give thanks for the Fathers in your life through whom you have come to know Our Lord God and Father.  Say a prayer for those who are not good models of fatherhood.  

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