Thursday, 19 March 2009

Happy Father's Day

With Mother's Day coming up, all the seminarians are busying themselves with buying cards to send home. But let's not forget fathers on this important solemnity of St Joseph, the foster father of Christ. It seems that a large part of what ails our modern culture is the crisis of fatherhood, a misunderstanding of what it means to be a father. When I was browsing the internet the other day I came across a contraceptive advert that read "MANHOOD", and which followed on to say that with the risk of sexually transmitted diseases it was important for guys to take the necessary precautions. But this is the opposite of manhood, that is, of being a person of trust, of courage, of commitment, of self-gift to others. St Joseph was not out for his own welfare, or his own gain, but his whole life was spent in the service of his spouse and his adopted child. We know hardly anything about him, and yet he is venerated as the most important saint next to Mary, because of the way he courageously and humbly participated in the mystery of God made man.

Pray that we may have true fathers in our society, who give of themselves in order to lead others to God. Pray for our bishops and priests to be encouraged today by the example of St Joseph, and pray that we seminarians may become priests who have the hearts of fathers.

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