Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Priest on "Father's Day"

With Father’s Day upon us, I’d like to share a poem I read in a book of talks given by Archbishop Tim Dolan. This comes from his book, Priests for the Third Millennium. He concludes a talk on parish priesthood with a poem published in The Priest magazine, written about the fatherhood of the priest:

Who are you, man of Mystery, our Father?
By what arrogance do you approach the Holy –
offering your manliness to mate with Sacred Spouse,
and vowing with such singular abandonment
to wed yourself to Holy Mother Church
and so with her, in promiscuity divine, the seeds of Life?

Or can it be that, led by ceaseless calling,
summoned by the Matchmaker who serves the cause of Love,
pursued by the Relentless One, you have succumbed -
and so it is submission which, to unholy eyes, appears presumption?

How is it that, child-free, you are our Father?

Is it that you daily bear God’s children?
Is it that, with human voice, you speak a Father’s Word?
Is it that you, fasting and breaking fasts, call us to supper
and gather us at table for meal of Bread and Wine?
Or that you celebrate our rites of passage,
advising, chastising, baptizing us with water and with fire?

Is it that you lift us in prayer, holding,
embracing and blessing as only a Father might?
Or that you hear our calling in the dark
and come to take our hand and light a light –
Or, in your priestly parenting,
you come anointing, pointing the way past death to life?

Who are you, man of Mystery, our Father?
You’ve wed yourself to Holy Mother Church and, everywhere,
you sow with her, in promiscuity divine, the seeds of Life.
You bear and speak and feed, you shape and renew
and heal and bless as only a Father can do.
And so we, on this Father’s Day, your untold children, grateful, pray,
“May life and Holy Spouse and God bless you.”

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