The Christian Man and the Love of the Father

FrJonathanMy Brother Knights, as Fr. Kalish states below we are ALL fathers. We need to step-up to the plate and be FATHERS and MEN of Christ. WE need to be the positive role models for all children, not some athlete being paid millions of dollars to not stand and honor our flag. My Brothers, be a MAN!

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.

 Showing Oneself a Strong, Faithful Man of God

FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK The Christian Man and the Love of the Father Father Jonathan D. Kalisch, OP Director of Chaplains and Spiritual Development
A father holds his son during Mass Nov. 13 at St. Peter Claver Church in Baltimore.
CNS photo/Bob Roller

Over the past several decades, for many reasons, men have been suffering an identity crisis. Whereas in former days, a son would clearly have grasped his father’s instruction, “Show yourself a man,” today such a curt instruction might not be so readily understood. The messages our culture broadcasts about what it means to be a “real man” are inconsistent and confusing. In movies and on television, images of men vary widely from violent, take-no-prisoner pseudo-superheroes, to smooth-talking, maschismo-driven womanizers, to sheepish and vulnerable womenfearers who seem to want to be one of the girls more than one of the guys. Professional sports figures often leave men and boys empty of genuine role models, too. Rare is the positive image of ordinary, hardworking men who are faithful to God, to the Church, to their wives, and to their families and friends. Within the Church, as well, it is not as easy as it once was for men and boys to find living examples of what it means to be a “man of God.” Within this context, it is urgent to return to the question of what it means to be a man from God’s perspective and explore his vocation in the Church and in the world. Does man’s God-given mission differ from woman’s, and if so, how? Are there any role models men can turn to in order to learn how to become the men their Father in heaven calls them to be? How can men today arm and defend themselves against the cultural phenomena that are weakening their identity and diverting them from their God-given tasks? To read more about the challenges of forming Christian men today, check out Catholic Information Service’s Becoming a Real Man of God (#322), a part of the Building the Domestic Church Series, at kofc.org/cis.

Forming Men as Catholic and Fathers Today

Look at how men and fathers are portrayed in popular entertainment and in so much of what passes for learned commentary. If you’ve ever tuned in to Family Guy or American Dad or Two and a Half Men, you know what I’m talking about. Today, men, in their role as husbands and fathers, are often portrayed as insensitive to their wives and the worst possible role model for their children. ... These and other factors tend to make men feel powerless. Yet the Knights of Columbus can help them tap into a hidden source of strength found in our faith. ... The Knights can remind men and help them to do what is in their power to do: to improve their marriages, to be better fathers, to grow in virtue, to serve the needs of others more generously, to be a better citizen. ... We have to see the Knights of Columbus as a practical way of evangelizing husbands, fathers and their families, of helping them to understand what the culture often rejects — how men and women should relate to one another in complementary ways and how important husbands and fathers are to children. The Knights are also a way of helping men embrace their manhood — not the culture of machismo but a solid, sturdy, secure manhood — which includes having the courage to defend life, to defend virtue, to defend authentic values. ... In these terms, how can we make the Knights an instrument of the new evangelization? First, Pope Francis keeps reminding us that no one makes the journey alone. The disciples on the road to Emmaus were leaving Jerusalem, they were adrift, walking alone on the road, with only disappointment to share. Pope Francis told the young people in Rio, and he told us, that we do not follow Christ alone but as a community of disciples. Second, outside this convention hall is a display advertising Fathers for Good. I would urge you to make full use of this very important K of C resource if you haven’t done so already, and make use of these resources that offer a renewed and healthy understanding of what it means to be a man, a husband and a father — not to create some kind of a male sanctuary, but rather to equip ourselves and our brothers to relate well to women, to wives, to mothers and to the world around us. May you continue to be protectors of God’s gifts and may God bless you and your families; may he bless abundantly our beloved Order!

The following text is excerpted from the closing address of Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore to the 2013 Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention in San Antonio, Texas, in which he confirms the Order’s commitment to forming Catholic men and holds up Fathers for Good as a valuable resource. To read the address in full, visit fathersforgood.org.

 

 

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