I arrived home last night from Steubenville, Ohio after 5 days of study at Franciscan University. I sorted through my email and found that my Godson, James, has had a wonderful write up in a video game/computer periodical about a new game he authored (Fracture). It got me thinking about the theme of the conference being Your Kingdom Come. And that makes perfect sense, doesn't it? The creation of a video game with its virtual reality, its boundaries and its limitations leading one to think about He who created the Universe and How you cannot have a theology that is just Jesus and me....it you do, you leave out the most important part of the equation....The Trinity....The Father.
My friend Patty is writing a series on her blog (see the link to the side here) about the damage it does to children to have a father who is sick or insane or monstrous. Senator Obama's demand of men of color to stop allowing the actions of those who are immoral to define them - to become true FATHERS - caused a supposed Christian man of God to express a desire to have Senator Obama castrated. Patty's story of incest and denial has caused her brother, another well-known man of God, to threaten her with legal action. We are touchy on this subject, are we not? We get a little angry, a little defensive....for women who grew up proud to own a t-shirt that proclaimed that they needed a man like a fish needed a bicycle, it is embarrassing to discover that a bad relationship with the man who helped to create them may mean an inability to relate well to the world as a whole. And men, grown men trying desperately to find their way and be what God intended them to be, find that without a role model upon which to pattern their behavior they flounder.
Dr Petroc Willey, a convert to the Faith and the foremost expert on the use of the Catholic Catechism (promulgated in 1992 under the auspices of JPII) spoke to the idea of claiming our inheritence as Children of the Holy Trinity. He cautioned us to never leave the concept of the True God out of the whole - it cannot be just Jesus and me as that speaks solely to only one Person of God. He called it the 'Islamicization of Christianity', this forgetting that God is Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and without an organic approach to God we are in danger of reducing our understanding to that of 'there is no God but.....'. I was struck by that - the fact that we, as Catholic Christians, approach God differently, we have a different mind set, a different culture, and different way of looking at the necessity of Holy Scripture, Authority, and the Bride of Christ. We also, if we are truly holding fast to the Faith, have to have a different way of looking at The Father.
He is all-powerful, all knowing and all about loving us so much that He had to create us...has to create us still, for it is He who knits us together in our mother's wombs. It is He who breathes life into us, allowing us to develop and grow in such a way that we yearn for Him...and it is this yearning that the secular world tells us is unseeming, is silly, is superstitious, is comical...and when we believe that lie (fathered, as it is, by the Father of All Lies), we begin to lose our way. We fracture. We become angry and bitter and unable to truly bond with anyone - even with our own children because we see them as something to 'do' and then 'let go' so we can 'have our own lives'. We believe that we cannot love or nurture THEM unless OUR needs are fullfilled, thereby turning our backs on the very essence of the divine that is within each of us - the ability to create life, to nurture and love it and sacrifice for it...to put ourselves aside, so that they might live.
Barbara Morgan, founder of the St John Bosco Conference, urged us all to 'rush to the Father'.
St Therese of Liseux was all over the place this weekend, as might be expected as she is the Doctor of the Church, the Doctor of the Father (so to speak). When she was asked by her Carmelite Sisters what she would do if she committed a mortal sin she stated that she would run to her Father, throw herself into His lap, look up into His eyes and beg His forgiveness.
"And He would have to forgive me", she said, 'because He loves me so".
May we all rush to Our Father today, promise to do His Will not for our glory or ease but for HIS....so that His Kingdom may be made more perfect here on earth and He may come.
St Therese, pray for us.
St John Bosco, thank you.