Spirituality for Today – June 2015 – Volume 19, Issue 11

Patris Hodie

Rev. Raymond K. Petrucci

Feminism has occupied center stage for a number of decades. Placing emphasis on the role and status of women in modern society and on their personal and professional growth obviously has had many beneficial effects. Regrettably, men – poor men – have had their role and status in society diminished and undefined. One can find this sad condition within the format of a certain women oriented television network where each storyline portrays a woman faced with a crisis that she must overcome on her own often by displaying almost superhuman abilities while the men are characterized as either good willed but incompetent or as paradigms of evil. This portrayal of the female superhero burdened by ineffective males on one side and threatened by the designs of a demonic male on the other add nothing to what society really needs which is the affirmation of the mutual worth and special gifts that men in women together can contribute to building truly graced and moral communities. What good are our depictions of masculinity and femininity if they are not an illustration of the multi-faceted expressions of love and how these great powers can work together?

The refuge from pessimism is the good men and women at any time existing in the world – they keep faith and happiness alive.

Charles E. Norton

My father told me that he loved me only once. He showed me that he loved me all throughout his lifetime. Each summer from the age of 14 until the age of 24 I worked for my family's construction company. As an aside, you can never be late for work when your boss can come into your bedroom and wake you up. During those years, I had the opportunity to know my father, both personally and professionally. He taught me the value of work and the importance of investing your skills, your integrity, and yourself into what you do. My brothers were headed for careers in the family business and, obviously, I was not. My father could have been dismissive of his seminarian son, but he never was. He abundantly imparted his wisdom, his humor, his devotion to his family, and his love to me and through me. One meaningful lesson was his wisdom in allowing each member of the family to contribute their talents for the benefit of the entire family. My mother, Saint Ann (REALLY!), was the spiritual powerhouse and the financial manager of the household. Please excuse this little bit of whimsy: Probably, my father could have made a living as a gambler; he could beat anyone in cards except one person – my mother. In truth, how important it is to respect and to give expression to that within us that can bear good fruit in our lives. Even as a youngster, I observed how my parents built a strong family together. Over the years, I only hope that I have managed to employ these family lessons to my priestly responsibilities.

O YE whose cheek the tear of pity stains,
Draw near with pious rev'rence, and attend!
Here lie the loving husband's dear remains,
The tender father, and the gen'rous friend;
The pitying heart that felt for human woe,
The dauntless heart that fear'd no human pride;
The friend of man-to vice alone a foe;
For "ev'n his failings lean'd to virtue's side."
Robert Burns

Epitaph on my Ever Honoured Father

My father passed from this life many years ago, but his presence, his voice lives on in my mind and in my heart. Indeed, my brother and I often remark about the many times that we do or say something that echoes my father's words and actions. It is a little scary. Seriously, in prayerful gratitude, I thank God for providing me with the parents that I had. Jesus taught us to turn in prayer to the Almighty and Eternal God as a father. It is inconceivable that the Word of God made flesh in order to reveal the mystery of the love and mercy of the Godhead used the context of a Holy Family was by accident. The family reveals the arena of human interaction where the meaning of life itself is discovered. Let us rejoice in it. Let us all remember and pray for our fathers living or dead. Happy Father's Day!