Devotion to God the Father

Recently there has been a movement to give greater prominence to God the Father. Actually, this movement extends to asking the Holy Father to inaugurate a Liturgical Feast Day to honor God the Father, and the day would be the first Sunday of August.

It is true that the major Liturgical celebrations honor Jesus—His Birthday, His death and Resurrection that we call the Paschal Mystery. Then the Church formally honors the Holy Spirit on the Solemnity of Pentecost at the conclusion of the Easter Season.

No doubt, it is impossible to separate the Three Divine Persons in the Trinity—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; in a word, in God there is no divorce, no separations, nor disharmony, nor disunity. Therefore, in every Liturgical celebration the Three Divine Persons are active. For example, in Holy Mass at the moment of the Doxology the Three Divine Persons are explicitly honored and praised in these words: “Through Him, with Him, and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory is yours eternal Father forever and ever. Amen.” Indeed, this is a Eucharistic Trinitarian act of praise and worship after the Consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

All of this being said, whether or not one day there exists a formal Liturgical Solemnity honoring God the Father, still we must strive to give greater prominence and honor to our Heavenly Father. 

Let us offer three concrete ways that we can accomplish this most noble of devotions, honoring God the Father. 

1. Let us get in the habit of praying the Lord’s Prayer, known commonly as “The Our Father” with greater attention, devotion, as well as understanding. In the Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius suggests that we take this prayer and pray it slowly by relishing each and every one of the words in this most sublime of prayers that came from the lips and the very Heart of Jesus the Lord.

2. The Parable Of The Prodigal Son. (Lk. 15: 11-32) Read, meditate and pray over this Literary and Spiritual masterpiece that was preached and taught by the greatest of all Teachers, the Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of God the Father. In your deep meditation focus especially on the Father in this Parable: His personality, His image, His actions, His attitude toward His son/sons, but most especially His infinite mercy. We might be bold enough to state that this Parable can also be termed “The Parable of the Merciful Father.” In a word, focus most especially on the Person of the Father who represents the Eternal Father Himself. The end result will be a clearer image of who God the Father is for us, His great love for us, and if we are “Fathers” we will become better Fathers, having God the Father as our model, image and pattern.

3. Pope Saint John Paul II.  Of all the saints, and most especially of all the Popes, Holy Fathers, nobody can doubt the enormous impact and influence that Pope Saint John Paul II left on the world in his Pontificate that lasted from October 16, 1978 to April 2,2005. What a powerful, unforgettable and exemplary image Pope Saint John Paul II left as a patrimony to the world at large. We might be bold enough to state that in a human manner, if we really desire to see a person who reflected the Person of God the Father in human form, Pope Saint John Paul II truly filled that role. Many men today experience a certain identity crisis. By reading about, meditating and praying to Pope Saint John Paul II men can discover their true identity.

In conclusion, let us all make a sincere, concrete and concerted effort to get to know better on a daily basis the Person of the Our Heavenly Father. Let us pray the Our Father with greater attention. Let us strive to plumb the depths of the literary and spiritual masterpiece—the Parable of the Prodigal Son (and the Merciful Father). Finally, may the Holy Father, Pope Saint John Paul II serve as a model to imitate his Fatherhood to the world at large! May Our Lady, Daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son, and Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit inspire us with her powerful prayers of intercession.

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Father Ed Broom is an Oblate of the Virgin Mary and the author of Total Consecration Through the Mysteries of the Rosary and From Humdrum to Holy. He blogs regularly at Fr. Broom's Blog.

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