Personal Letter to L.C. community
May this Father's Day be special, even more so when fatherhood is under so much fire. Please pray to see how you can best honor your father and the father in your home.
First of all let us honor our Father in heaven from whom all fatherhood comes.For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family (literally "paternity") in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God. -Ephesians 3:14
St. Paul teaches how to restore fatherhood: Turn to the Father on your knees!
Jesus came to reveal the Father, therefore all fathers on earth need to learn fatherhood from Him. Whoever sees Him sees the Father. Think of Jesus shepherding, protecting, forgiving, loving, serving and laying down his life. In all he did and said he revealed the Father.
Let us honor, support and affirm our fathers even if they are not perfect. They have received their vocation from God and they will be helped greatly to overcome their weakness through our encouragement. Lift them up to the Lord in prayer.
Also, please pray for priests. Their fatherhood is most fiercely attacked.
As you know, I just came back from the Steubenville priest conference. I was able to speak to many priests, one on one, and was struck by the deep sufferings they carry. Many feel isolated and overwhelmed with problems and opposition.
The Lord spoke the truth at the conference and brought healing but much more is needed. The priests need constant spiritual support and that is where you come in. YOUR VOCATION AS VICTIMS OF LOVE IS SO VERY CRUCIAL IN THE CHURCH!
Father Corapi just released a statement that brought me much sadness (Fr. Corapi's statement you tube). You will do good to listen and allow your hearts to be pierced as you come to a deeper awareness of the ferocity of the battle. Let us not judge anyone involved. Let us rather recommit to take seriously our mission. This is what is needed because ultimately the question is: Who will stand for Jesus in this battle and take the cross to the end?
Fr. Corapi's is not an isolated case. Any priest can be falsely accused and find himself suspended, his priestly faculties removed, even if there is no evidence on the case against him. The trials many priests are enduring and many more will endure requires heroic sanctity. How many are prepared for it?
We too must prepare as our society is becoming increasingly anti-Christian. Our preparation is through a constant turning to the cross and offering our lives as victims of love, living our way of life from the heart. Be not afraid to suffer whatever may come. We must remain faithful to the Church, even if our suffering is inflicted by our own brothers and sisters from within. Think of Jesus!
"Blessed are those who see". We also have to see the nature of the battle so that we enter deeper into it with the truth. Fr Francis taught at the conference that freedom must be directed towards the truth. Otherwise freedom is lost and we fall into untruth which is darkness and chaos.
We need to go deep into the truths of our faith and morals to understand all their demands and application to the circumstances we face. As we endeavor to understand the truth we can see the purpose of freedom. Freedom is always to be guided towards the truth. Jesus said, "The truth shall set you free" So often Christian ideas are used superficially to make us feel good while we continue to compromise with the world. We are to be people of truth also when we encounter the hard teachings which go against the current of the world and of our flesh. Allow the truth to cut to the heart so that we repent, change and follow Christ to calvary.
My dear family, your families, your priests, your Church need your FIAT! Thank you for your faithfulness and zeal for the Lord.
I personally am so very grateful to you as you have inspired great joy in my priesthood. May God bless you and your families.
Amor meus crucifixus est,
Father Jordi Maria Rivero