Catholic Men Family Connection

A Father’s love is never time wasted

Photo: ‘Learning the Game’ Copyright 2010 Frank J Casella

Families, as the domestic church, have the opportunity to make the family meal a time of prayerful encounter with one another and with Jesus. At a family meal we share our experiences of the day and connect them with the experiences of others in the family.

We can also enjoy the meal as an opportunity to reflect upon our family life in light of the Scriptures, that connects us to Jesus too.

Choose a family meal each week to share each of our experiences of the week. Perhaps take turns as family members to plan and prepare the meal together. Begin the meal by reading the Gospel for the day. As you eat, talk together about how these events speak to our lives in the light of Scripture.

Download and share Bishop Perry’s Prayer Before Meals.

Next, each family member can share the things that are going on in his or her life. Consider what Jesus might say to each person if he were sitting at your dinner table. Conclude with a special prayer after your dinner.

Dad’s, as the priest of your family the domestic church, pray a prayer of blessing for each family member, asking that Jesus continue to be present in each person’s life, helping each one to be a better follower of Jesus. Conclude with a Sign of Peace.

A Father’s Love

Men, how many times have you (and I) done things with human understanding instead if seeing those things through the eyes of Christ. Do you have this regulator switch that turns Christ’s love ON and turns it OFF, instead of being filled with His love and making our ‘plans’ His. It’s all about relationships. If you are a Father, what is your relationship with your children? What is your relationship with the Lord Jesus?

I recall a few years ago when I spent a weekend with my teenage son attending a basketball tournament that he was playing in. I rationalized that because of the distance and cost of travel we would stay in a hotel, but the real truth is I knew that I needed to do a better job at giving my son my time. I always ask for lessons from God in everything that I do, but this weekend God had a lesson that I didn’t ‘plan’ for.

We all have the same amount of time, what is different is how we use it. We all have ‘important’ things to take care of: work, house, car, and many details in-between. Sometimes, we make all of these details so important that we let go of the one thing that is most important – relationships.

I was thinking about all of this while watching one of my son’s games, when he took a hard fall while driving the ball and was injured. This is a very rare occurrence for him. It wasn’t until after the game and on the way home that his knee started to puff up and become painful. I cannot find the words to describe how much I wanted to take that injury from him and carry the pain for him. If you are a Father I’m sure you know what I am talking about.

Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me. 1 Peter 2: 24 – 25: ” He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you had gone astray like sheep’s but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.”

The lesson the Lord spoke to me is this: Jesus envelopes you with his loving arms, like a father with a young child. It is impossible to love Jesus more than he loves you, more than how a father (or parent) loves their children.

A father’s love for his own child is only a glimpse of A Father’s Love from the Lord Jesus. Just like how Jesus says ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’, when you feel distant from God, who moved?

In other words, does your relationship with your children example A Father’s Love that you have with the Lord. If not, what has stopped that from happening?

Our first job as a Dad is to get our family to Heaven. Each child is different in making the connection and developing the relationship. It is never time wasted because, as a Father, the impact you have on your family can go three generations deep.

Frank J Casella, CMCS-Director

The Culture of Waste and Faith Formation

How to apply tithing to spiritual poverty

Pope Francis is known as “The Quotable Pope”.  An example of this is from each day on Twitter like this one:

” Consumerism has accustomed us to waste. But throwing food away is like stealing it from the poor and hungry. “

,,,, I can relate to this because my family has been in that position of having to turn to our parish and St. Vincent DePaul Ministry or Catholic Charities food pantry to put food on our table.  There is a present statistic out that says the average American family dumps in the trash 140 LBS. of food each year. 

This is food that is paid for from our working incomes. I’m sure we all tithe our cash to give to the church or to further God’s work. Why not make less trash with our food and do the same??

Likewise, when Francis Cardinal George came to be our Ordinary here in Chicago, it wasn’t too long before he said …“The greatest poverty is not to know Jesus Christ” … So, spinning the Popes quote from above, if you will …

” Always be a consistent living example of the Gospel. Because failing to do so is like stealing from the spiritually poor the opportunity to know Jesus’ love”. 

Finally, not too long ago when my son’s were teenagers (they are now in their 20’s) while taking my son to his sports practice, the thought occurred to me how many households in my neighborhood have two parents that work out of the home.  How they put their children into multiple sports programs with the intention of while they are working to “provide” someone else will take their child to the events.

I constantly would get phone calls, emails, etc., (from parents) assuming that since I’m taking my child anyways to take theirs too … and they will lie and rationalize to get it done, without any thought of the liability they put on me in the event something happens to their child.

Personally, my wife and I are that kind of parent who alwyas sat on the sideline even during practices to send the message to our boys they are important to us. Sure we have “better” things to do, but It personally gave me windshield time in the car to talk with them about what they saw happen in practices or in the games, or let them lead the conversation to become more a part of their lives.

We don’t get a second chance at this while they grow up. Sometimes us dad’s, as the priest of our house, have to lead the conversation with our wives about which parent is going to cut back – or cut out – the work load to live on less (maybe less sports programs) to invest more into our children and instilling their faith formation.

“With the “culture of waste”, human life is no longer considered the primary value to be respected and protected.” ~ Pope Francis

By the way, that picture at the top of this article, from the Bishop Perry Men’s Forum, all the left over food goes to the poor.

Frank J Casella

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