Modern feminists love to use the phrase, “war on women.” Yet, I would assert that, if there is a war on women, there is also a war being waged upon men. Throughout our American society, men have slowly been pushed to the fringes of the family, and since our families are the nucleus of society, men have been perceived as dispensable. Too often, women tend to remind men that they are easily replaceable, and one man is the same as the other.
But, it’s a lie!
In the same way all women are called to spiritual motherhood, so too, are all men called to spiritual fatherhood. The calling is unique to the individual man, but no less important than the role of physical fathers. The concept of spiritual fatherhood is not exclusive to the Catholic faith. Bishop T.D. Jakes, the bishop for The Potter’s House, a nondenominational megachurch in the U.S., is quoted as saying,
I want to congratulate all the men out there who are working diligently to be good fathers whether they are stepfathers, biological fathers, or just spiritual fathers.
Over two centuries ago, a quiet man was engaged to a young woman. Before their marriage, she confided to him that she was pregnant with perhaps the most mind-blowing explanation – the father of her unborn child was none other than God Himself! Although the man initially decided to quietly divorce this young woman, he slept on that decision. And, he heeded God’s call to him in a dream.
In fact, all we know about this holy man in the Gospels is that he continuously opened his mind, heart, and spirit to God’s call in his dreams. He kept the woman safe, and then raised her Son as his own, teaching Him prayers, love for God, and a trade. He embraced the role of fatherhood in such a way that enabled him to be a quiet, influential force which would allow Our Savior to fully come into His role. This man did all of this unassumingly, diligently, and faithfully.
St. Joseph embodies the characteristics all men should embrace, playing a critical role in the composition of the Holy Family.
As St. Joseph before them, men continue to play a crucial role in the very make-up of our society.
Just like Mary would have been unable to properly play her role as mother of Our Savior, women today would be unable to play their roles as physical or spiritual mothers without the contribution of our own St. Josephs – the men in our lives.
Being a father – physically or spiritually – is not an easy task! Often times, it is a thankless, demanding role, which for many physical fathers, produces exhaustion!
The goal should not be to take the responsibility of fatherhood away from men, but instead, foster, nurture, and encourage the role from the beginning – ensuring boys know their worth and importance in society, just as much as we do girls!
And, if a man abdicates his role as a physical or spiritual father, it is incumbent upon those in that man’s life to remind him – parenting is not easy, but it is essential! It is also important that a mother seeks to replace the missing father figure, when he has walked away from his role, with another male role model who can espouse the loving qualities we find in St. Joseph.
Because just as a mother and her love cannot be replaced, neither can a father and his love be replaced.
Our society is worse off, when our fathers are not present.
So, to all the men stepping up to the plate in a role of physical or spiritual fatherhood… today is to recognize you and salute you. Thank you for committing to staying the course of fatherhood – for embracing the role, and performing it to the best of your ability. Thank you, for giving God your own fiat – your own “yes.”
And, to all the men in my own life – from my father, to my father-in-law, to my brothers (some of whom are physical fathers, and others who are spiritual fathers), to my brothers-in-law, and most importantly, to my own husband…
Happy Father’s Day!
As usual, I’m linking up with Rosie over at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best today. Today’s Mass experience was phenomenal – because my husband was feeling under the weather, so he sent me, while he and the kiddos slept in. Our chaplain had three homilies in one, and I was so thrilled to be able to hear the messages today! And, I figure it will fill the spiritual void for the foreseeable future, when the kids go back to Mass with me! Don’t forget to head over to Rosie’s blog to check out what some other fabulous bloggers have to say about their Sunday Best!
And, as always, thanks for stopping by!
Let me know in the comments – how did you, or do you plan to, celebrate the fathers in your life today?