Editorial: Fatherhood, the beginning of all things.
The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made any thing from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived. neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out: the mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth: he had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world.
When he prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law and compass he enclosed the depths: when he established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters: when he compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when he balanced the foundations of the earth; I was with him forming all things: and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times; playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men.Proverbs 8:22-31
And now glorify thou me, O Father, with thyself, with the glory which I had, before the world was, with thee.John 17:5
Everything begins with the Father, including our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The question of fatherhood in our age is the question of the origin of man.
On this Fathers Day, which is also Trinity Sunday, we appeal to St. Joseph, to help us return to the very beginning of ourselves; the genesis of our life: conception, and from that moment, marked by a burst of light, then let us consider our Father, since He considered us first.
Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations.Jeremiah 1:5
To know our Father, is to know whom we must be like; whom we are imaged after. So much of the world has forgotten fatherhood, but if a man rejects fatherhood, be it natural or spiritual, he rejects his own design, and therefore rejects his ability to be himself.
All of us fathers are also sons, as Adam was the son of God, and as God Himself is Father and Son.
When Job asked, with the humility of a man having suffered though so many trials, to understand why he was as he was, God answered him with an account of Himself, and challenges Job as a man:
Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Upon what are its bases grounded? or who laid the corner stone thereof, When the morning stars praised me together, and all the sons of God made a joyful melody? Who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth as issuing out of the womb: When I made a cloud the garment thereof, and wrapped it in a mist as in swaddling bands?Job 38:1-9
Essentially, God answers, “be a man, Job, and behold the origin of your person, which is of My person.”
If we suffer as Job did, it is to take part in God. If we suffer estrangement from our sons (Luke 15:12), or the loss of our sons (2 Samuel 18:33), or the lack of a father in our lives (Psalm 21:2), or by the undue humiliations from a fatherless world (John 8:38), or even the misunderstandings of who we are by our most trusted friends (John 14:9), it fulfills our Christian identities.
So let us shake off the dusty indignities that fashionable culture blows at us, gird up our loins, and return again to the beginning, to our inherent dignity; the creature who is, by nature, protector and provider, and by Nativity, even of God Himself, and be fathers by the grace of God, our Father.