The Christian Man and the Love of the Father
Every man — even those who don’t have children of their own — is called to fatherhood. His fatherhood consists of nurturing the vocations of those for whom the Lord has given him care and responsibility. In his recent apostolic exhortation on the call to holiness in today’s world, Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis highlights the central importance of the grace of discernment which “seeks a glimpse of that unique and mysterious plan that God has for each of us” (170).
A father plays a key role in showing his children the love of God the Father, through which they experience, on a supernatural level, the knowledge of the unrepeatability of their own unique lives. Before a man is ever a spouse or a father, he himself is first a beloved son of God the Father. This is the mystery of discipleship our Lord Jesus Christ, especially in the Gospel of John, reveals over and over again. Knowing that he is a beloved son of the Eternal Father gives a man ordered priority to his life and relationships: first God, then his spouse and, finally, his children.
Pope Francis reminds us that God’s unique plan for each of us “involves more than my temporal well-being, my satisfaction at having accomplished something useful, or even my desire for peace of mind. It has to do with the meaning of my life before the Father who knows and loves me, with the real purpose of my life, which nobody knows better than he” (170). Reading these words, we cannot help but think of the ways in which our paternal and spiritual fathers assist us on the path of encounter with God the Father. Let us remind our brother Knights of their unparalleled role in revealing to their sons and daughters the treasure of the meaning of their lives in light of the love of God the Father.