ChristianityRichly

A Father’s Day Thanksgiving

In Christianity on June 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Today we honor our birth fathers, and rightfully so. The importance of their leadership in the formation of our lives is extraordinarily important. Those of us who are, or were, blessed with good fathers are given an immense headstart on life, as well as a model for the loving Fatherhood of God.

For my earthly father, I am deeply grateful, and miss him intensely. He died before I reached the emotional maturity to express all of my gratitude.

For those of us who also are blessed by the riches of the Church, as Catholic Christians, today we honor our spiritual fathers — our fathers in Christ, who minister to us daily.

Perhaps your thanksgiving and mine, to our Bishops and priests, is best expressed by the poem often reproduced on prayer cards, “The Beautiful Hands of a Priest.”   Or maybe you read yesterday’s Christianity Richly post, and recognized in Fr. Allan J. McDonald’s words the central role of our priests as they:

  • Receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders to serve us
  • Administer the Sacrament of Baptism to wash away our sins
  • Strengthen and, by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation, equip us to help carry out the Great Commission
  • Offer the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, recognizing our contrition and forgiving our venial and mortal sins
  • Soothe and reassure us in times of physical distress in the Sacrament of Anointing
  • Witness our vows in the Sacrament of Marriage
  • And most of all, offer us the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ (John 6:48-51) in the Eucharist

Today, let us give our spiritual fathers the love and respect they deserve and have earned, through daily, personal sacrifice on our behalf.

Dear Heavenly Father, We ask you today to richly bless our Holy Father Benedict XVI, our Bishops and priests, on this occasion when we honor our fathers — earthy and spiritual. We give you thanks for their ministry in Christ’s stead on our behalf. Guide them, protect them, and strengthen them in sanctity. May we remember them in prayer and love, not only today but daily throughout each year. In Christ’s Name, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, Amen.

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