"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Did you love your dad?

God as Father.
"The holy Fathers consider even heroic deeds as acts of a hireling. They claim that the fear of suffering is the way of a slave, and that the desire for reward is the way of a hireling. But God wants us to come to him on the path of a son; motivated by love and zeal for his glory, we should conduct ourselves with honor and enjoy his saving presence in our hearts and souls." - The Way of A Pilgrim

I lived a great part of my life trying to please my dad. In nearly everything I did, I consciously or unconsciously sought his approval and favor. But most of all, I wanted to please him to avoid his wrath - his punishment when I displeased him. That was what I called "loving my dad". I never realized how much I tried to gain his approval until after he died. After he died, I understood my love had been subservient. That was a crisis for me.

Loving God cannot be the same way. I hope to love him for himself, because he is lovable in himself. Obviously I am not there yet.


  1. Well the main thing is God loves YOU unconditionally.

    I had to work through in prayer & therapy many childhood issues..alcoholism etc & have only just come out the other side of a painful purification..God bless..

  2. Terry, I believe that when it comes to God, the word you're looking for is agape: to love someone completely as they are, without expecting anything in return.

  3. Looking back I can see that I often took my Dad for granted. He is a quiet guy who never made a big deal out of doing the right thing. I also somtimes take God for granted; perhaps the sin of presumption.

  4. Hi Terry,

    I think you'd appreciate the film, Smoke Signals. It's a powerful and moving story of a young man coming to terms with his father and their troubled relationship. Oh, and it's also quite funny in parts!



  5. I was scared of my dad when I was little. When I was 6 the neighbour girl asked me who I loved more - my mom or my dad. It was mom hands down (my mother was a saint) but I said, "my mom BUT my dad works hard to look after us" so something a 6 year old would say.

    It was only this past Advent that I started really praying for my dad's soul. It has helped a lot.

  6. Oh, so much.
    He was (and is, though he's very sick now and can be a bit ill-tempered) gentle, brave, loving, thoughtful, sweet, silly, and I always knew he loved being my daddy.

    A good glimpse at the Father's love for His children.

    What a blessing.


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