As life here would have it, Fr. John Corapi has made it into the news for Father’s Day, because of his sins. But there is also a Church full of men who surrender their lives daily to be God, working to be good and faithful priests, and spiritual fathers and dads who helped get them where they are, pointing them upward, educating them, challenging them, and modeling holy manhood.
I wrote about the pontifical seminary appropriately named after Saint Joseph here.
From New Orleans, Monsignor Christopher Nalty writes in his Good Shepherd parish bulletin:
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. (Jn 3:16)
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I don’t believe in “coincidences,” a word that means “the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection.” No, I believe in “God-incidences,” where God gives us two events at the same time and asks us to make a connection – to see that there are no “accidents.”
Today, we have two events happening: the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and Father’s Day. I can’t help but make a connection. Do you realize that almost all of the “solemnities” and “feasts” of our Church point to some “earthly” event? Think about it. They’re either focused on an event in the life of Christ (His incarnation, His birth, His death, His resurrection, His ascension) or an event in the lives of His Mother, St. Joseph or one of His followers – the Saints. But only one event in the Church calendar points to something that can only be described as “other worldly.” That’s Trinity Sunday. It points to a Heavenly Reality – the reality that God is three persons in one God. It’s a mystery that has been revealed to us by God Himself. And it’s really the only day on the Church calendar that we specifically point to God the Father in Heaven.
And today is also the secular occasion of “Father’s Day.” And it should cause us to reflect upon the Fatherly role of God. I was fortunate to have a very special Father who passed away only two years ago. I know that my image of the Heavenly Father is heavily influenced by my memories of my earthly Dad. But it was also my earthly Dad that pointed me to my Heavenly Father. He did it by his life as a deacon; he did it by his love for my Mom and my siblings; and he did it specifically by his words to me. I remember being in a discussion with one of Dad’s friends about my vocation to the priesthood, and his friend said: “I’m sure your Dad had something to do with your vocation.” Far from taking the credit, Dad said: “No, that’s a call from His Heavenly Father.”
Dad was certainly right that my vocation to the priesthood came from God. But Dad’s recognizing the work of my Heavenly Father in my life was part of what helped me understand even the “concept” of a vocation. If Dad hadn’t pointed me “upward” to the Father, I’m not sure I would have ever even understood what a “priestly call” sounded like!
I sure miss my Dad, but I’m happy that he’s waiting for me in our Heavenly Father’s house! Happy Fathers Day to all of our Dad’s, and thanks to Our Heavenly Father for giving them to us.