Many years I had battled to accept a love so profound, not knowing the face of Fatherhood and its authority derived from Love, in its discipline and direction. Love can burn away all that I failed to see and do before, now I am trying to understand true Fatherhood. I began to see what a father’s love is, that it’s the father’s role to bring out the best in his children by wanting the best for us, something we often miss to see. I often measured love by the way I saw it expressed in the world as merely carnal affection which often failed to make me feel content. I began to experience the Love given by God as a Father in wanting to draw me to the Truth in who He has made me to be and wanting to give back the Love to help other people to see the best in themselves. Moses was promised by the Lord that He would be with him and the Lord was for God was present in His majesty and power.
“ And when he was gone into the tabernacle of the covenant, the pillar of the cloud came down, and stood at the door, and he spoke with Moses.”[Exodus 33:9]
Yet, what I have learned and understand from scripture is the people understood the cloud was God visiting Moses. It did not change them, the people became rebellious and asked Moses what they needed and complained to him. Moses felt pressured. The Lord asked Moses to “stand upon the rock” Ex 33:21, for Moses had seen the parting of the sea and the people of Israel being set free, yet, Moses lacked in faith that the power of God would work by Moses’ words alone. In anger Moses struck the rock twice instead of commanding it in the name of God and so the Lord did not allow Moses to enter into the promised land with the people. Moses would have to wait until after the Resurrection.
“ And when Moses had lifted up his hand, and struck the rock twice with the rod, there came forth water in great abundance, so that the people and their cattle drank, And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron: Because you have not believed me, to sanctify me before the children of Israel, you shall not bring these people into the land, which I will give them.” [Numbers 20:11-12]”
God spoke these words because Moses, Aaron, and the people of Israel lacked faith and asked Moses of things and it seemed Moses catered to their impatience rather than his firm faith in God. The scripture brought me to question the role of the importance of the Father and the authority He has in the word that is not deceitful. This ties to my reflection of what caused our lack of trust in the God fearing men and Father in our lives, that original sin caused our Fall to lose sight of the true view of the Father. Then, I think God gives us a remedy for the example of Jesus and Mary. This I see is where forgiveness of our fathers must begin. Our demands of our lower nature and desires compromises in desiring to lead us in the good things by the father’s word. Yet, now fathers have been left to be unheard in wanting to see the best way they can protect and serve our families. Fathers have often seen the bigger picture, but because of our selfish cries we begin to weaken their own faith and then the fathers cater to their children’s failings, rather than continue to walk us along a better path. I speak from experience, for the guidance of my father was not perfect but looking back he aimed to prepare me for a world I did not see, so that I can do the work that would best help in the future. It reminds me of the scripture, that even in the midst of seeing their deliverance from Egypt and slavery, which represents the bondage of sin and the world, the people seemed not to see the special grace of new life they had been given in the opportunity to return their thanks to God by their Faith, surrendering their trust to a loving Father.
This was my reflection in my own life, that till this point I could only see earning my way to receive love by a career or worldly wealth, which would provide my own security to show my distorted way to honor a father by trying to impress him. Rather, I had failed to see throughout my life thus far, how to be truly thankful for the gift of a loving Father in putting into practice His word and sharing my life with Him in doing what He has asked of me knowing it will bring true joy. The power of His grace sets us free to know truly who the Father is. To show gratitude towards Him in delivering my faith, my trust, then I do not dwell in my rebellious past, but in the present by confessing my failings to a loving Father that hears them. Understanding God’s loving Son Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and obedience, to help us unite our efforts to something more than ourselves. We can move forward in blotting out our guilt. God’s goodness restores us as children learning our way to truly see the Father and truly seeing Love for who He is (1 John 4:8). He has given us His Son, so we can find the image of the Father especially in His mercy in the Sacrament of Penance. We can open ourselves to be covered in the Precious Blood of the most Obedient Son, blood represented in the Old Testament time as a symbol of Life. This helps us to be taught as His children to learn to represent the Life of Christ: The Obedient and Loving Child.
“ The Son of man came not to destroy souls, but to save. And they went into another town.”[Luke 9:56]
I want to grow to become a living example of what His Heart has set me to be with His grace to truly begin to give Love, which He is: Charity. The giving of self for the best of others. Oh what a difficult thing! To understand, without grace, for I had seen it through my human eyes. I realize this is the gift we are given by Baptism and the Sacraments, that it takes a supernatural Faith to understand something more profound about Love, which is God or else we will continue to sin and die in our sin.
“ Therefore I said to you, that you shall die in your sins. For if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sin.”[John 8:24]
We would always aim at lowering our love to God or ourselves if we do not believe or have supernatural grace to understand His Love. God’s Love is not based on our fallen eyes for He is God and He can forgive our sins. For as a Father loves a child, He constantly wants the best for us to return to our Loving Creator, Him. I think this is the case of my bigger leap of faith, which I first thought was my surrender and conversion back to faith, but it seems harder now to just accept His sanctification of my life. I read a passage from Deuteronomy this morning of seeing how Moses had to wait to enter the promised land because He did not believe that the Lord sanctified only by word. It reminded me of how long it has taken to find peace in my heart, fighting His desires of me doing art or just simply living the way I would have originally begun, by believing He has forgiven my sins. For as many have said, He is God.
It took my confession of faith constantly in my heart, asking of Him to show me. Doubts and the devils would continue to push back. Yet, the more I feared the more I began to confess those fears in my heart and in the confessional. Grace began to work in the areas I spoke to Him. It has been seven years since that first leap of faith, five years of being pure in heart and body, seeking truly that His Word has made me new and manifested in me. I pray for courage to believe now that in Faith His Word is enough. That unlike Moses I do not continue to strike at the Rock, but I pray for the help of Moses to learn from this impatience and know that all He has carried me through should be a reminder of His power and justice. That like the centurion I should have the faith to say:
“ And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.”[Matthew 8:8]
May these journal entries help convey the mission of this apostolate to restore the interior life in seeing Him in all things and the inspirations He sends to make known to you His Fatherly gaze, so that we can draw ourselves back to His shelter and see His goodness of the Father, which we have often taken for granted that by the hands of His mother, Mary, we can return to have a holy hope and confidence in being assured that His Fatherly love will not allow us to experience anything that is not for our good. In the meantime, of our own Exodus from the world, we can maintain hope in the promises of God.
 Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel, to all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon:  Build ye houses, and dwell in them: and plant orchards, and eat the fruit of them.
 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters: and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, and let them bear sons and daughters: and be ye multiplied there, and be not few in number.  And seek the peace of the city, to which I have caused you to be carried away captives; and pray to the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall be your peace.  For thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Let not your prophets that are in the midst of you, and your diviners deceive you: and give no heed to your dreams which you dream:  For they prophesy falsely to you in my name: and I have not sent them, saith the Lord.  For thus saith the Lord: When the seventy years shall begin to be accomplished in Babylon, I will visit you: and I will perform my good word in your favour, to bring you again to this place.
 For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience.  And you shall call upon me, and you shall go: and you shall pray to me, and I will hear you.  You shall seek me, and shall find me: when you shall seek me with all your heart.  And I will be found by you, saith the Lord: and I will bring back your captivity, and I will gather you out of all nations, and from all the places to which I have driven you out, saith the Lord: and I will bring you back from the place to which I caused you to be carried away captive. [Jeremias (Jeremiah) 29:4-14]
(Suggested reading: Romans Chapter 1, on how to deal with the pagan world) #StaySharp
God be with you and our Lady help us. That we may do all for the glory of God and remain under her mantle.
Pax+in Umbra Dei,