Sunday, June 18, 2006

Il Giorno dei Padri

As today is Father's Day here in the States, a quick "thanks" and all good wishes to the many fathers, pops and dads of all sorts who read these pages.

Of course, words don't do justice to a father's goodness, to that of any parent, as their works are expressed not in the fleeting transient, but in the concrete, monumental deed of love. Nobody ever said it was easy, and the more I come to appreciate with the years everything my own Dad has done in my life, his patience, support, quiet strength and so many other things, the more I stand in awe and the more superhuman it seems. So God love and reward our Dads, and hopefully you all get to relax a bit today. Take care of yourselves for once, OK?

Nobody ever said priesthood was easy, either. At least, no sane person ever said that. We could never thank enough all the heroic and devoted clergy who, day after day, give of themselves to the extreme. Again, words don't do justice to a ministry genuinely lived in humble and selfless service, especially in these difficult days where the challenge of priesthood is often greater than it has ever been.

Over the years, I've been blessed to cross the paths of many superlative individuals who do honor to the long black line as they truly take up God's work, day in and day out. To have met even more of these in the course of this work has been one of its greatest graces.

Any man can be a priest, but it truly takes a stellar soul to be "the good Father," so to all of you who provide this life-giving gift to so many in ways you'll never fully know, thank you, thank you, thank you!