Sunday, December 4, 2011

Love of the Father

The Catholic Faith began with a family -- Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The same Faith continues much as a family, which is why our parish priests are addressed as Fathers, and our religious men and women are addressed as Brothers and Sisters.

"Honor your father and your mother, that you may be long lived upon the land which the Lord your God will give you." - Exodus 20:12

"Call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven." - Matthew 23:9

We have a Father in Heaven, who suffers no rival -- "I am the Lord your God, mighty, jealous..." (Exodus 20:5)

To the extent we place something created in God's place and make that our primary frame of reference, we violate the admonition of Christ to call none on earth our father (cf. St. Matthew's Gospel above). That place is reserved for the Almighty.

To the extent we show honor and obedience for our parents and guardians and teachers and patrons and governors and officials, we exercise the virtue of justice, which is to render to a man all that is owed him. In so doing we practice suitable proportionate honor (cf. Exodus above).

Our goal is to have nothing in our soul contrary to the Divine will -- no undue attachment that would leave us subject to a creature or created thing, or that would cause us to act out of love for an inferior cause as if it were our chief purpose.

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