Listen to Father Broom talk about this crisis.
Teenage delinquency, unwanted teenage
pregnancies and soaring rates of abortions among the young, abuse of drink and drugs at a frightening
younger age, plummeting grades in school leading to truancy and dropouts, and
worse of all, high rates of suicide among the teen--- all of the above haunts
the modern society in ever growing numbers the last quarter of the century?
Why all of this and at such an alarmingly fast pace? The first response is clear, simple and to
the point: an ever-increasing rejection of the Presence of God in the society.
Materialism and consumerism, hedonism, agnosticism often culminating in atheism—all of these tend
to suffocate the presence of God in the
society. A “Godless” society is capable
of anything! For that reason, St. Teresa
of Avila asserted, “One who is living in mortal sin, we should not be surprised
what he does, but rather what he does not do, as regards to the limit of evil!
Still there is another reason for
children and teenagers falling into so many moral pitfalls and it is due to the
modern FATHERLESS SOCIETY. In the past
few years classic novels have been penned, challenging the society to rediscover
the importance of the “Father” in the world, community, but especially his
fundamental role in the family.
Michael Obrien, the author of FATHER ELIJAH, and other literary masterpieces recently
wrote the FATHER’S TALE. One of the primary themes is the greatness
and nobility of man and father living out his vocation. Then, Brian Gail, has written a trilogy: FATHERLESS, MOTHERLESS, AND CHILDLESS. In FATHERLESS, the first in the line of the
trilogy, Gail, clearly depicts the crucial role of the “Father” in society and
the negative consequences due to his absence.
Gail presents a weak father, who loses his daughter who commits
suicide. Equally important Brian Gail,
depicts a priest, “Father Sweeney”, who
is a good man, a man who wants to please people more than God, who wants to
cater to the multitude to bolster his own low self-esteem. This results in him losing some of his best
parishioners who travel far and wide to find a parish and a priest who will
give them true authentic doctrine, devotion and spiritual nourishment.
It is only in meeting a true set of
“Fathers” real, authentic, self-giving and generous, manly and at the same time
gentle “Fathers” that Father Sweeney undergoes his first conversion, motivating
him to preach on the “hard sayings” of John chapter six!
Who were the two men that Father
Sweeney met in Brian Gail’s fictional masterpiece? While perusing books in the Ancora
bookstore, he bumps into an older, white-haired man, many years his senior who
suggests that he read a certain book. As
Sweeney lifts his gaze he peers into the eyes of a true "Father”, whose
name was, “Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger”.
Thunderstruck and fumbling for words, Sweeney invites Ratzinger for
breakfast and the prelate accepts the invitation on one condition that Father
Sweeney pay for the breakfast--- Americans have more money! At table, Sweeney meets a real “Father”
gentle and kind, but imbued with firmness and the fullness of truth. At the end
of the meal, Cardinal Ratzinger invites Sweeney to Mass, the following morning at
St. Peter’s in the Vatican.
At the crack of dawn, Father Sweeney
is waiting outside the Basilica of St. Peter’s. The door is opened and he is
ushered into a private chapel in which his eye alights upon a man dressed in
white, totally absorbed in prayer. This
man, this priest, the Man of God, this TRUE FATHER is none other than THE HOLY FATHER, POPE JOHN PAUL II! Father Sweeney vests up to concelebrate with His
Holiness, and “FATHER”, Pope John Paul
II. What happened was a breathtaking,
indescribable and ineffable experience, never in his life to be forgotten!
After the concelebrated Mass, Sweeney
is invited to breakfast with Pope John Paul II. For the second time in two days
Father Sweeney meets in flesh and blood a true and authentic man, Christian,
Catholic, Shepherd of souls, and especially FATHER. His identity crisis can now be resolved
because he has seen, prayed with, experienced and even eaten with two true
FATHERS: CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER and
HIS HOLINESS, “THE HOLY FATHER”, Pope John Paul II! Trusting in the assistance of God the
Father, filled with the consolation of meeting two true “Fathers”, Father Sweeney now can live to the fullest
his “Fatherhood” as priest! He can preach the “hard sayings” of John 6! The evil of contraception, abortion as
murder, the lethal influence of pornography and the challenge of young to live
out chastity--- now he, as a converted “Spiritual Father” can preach these
“hard sayings”. (Jn 6:60)
In a world where biological fathers
fail to assume their responsibility towards their spouses, children and family
as a whole, now more than ever we must pray for fathers.
A boy lost his mother at nine and
would spend a good part of the time of his next ten years with his father. They
would eat together, pray together, recreate together, and even share the same
room at night. Occasionally the small
boy would wake in the early hours of the night and peer out of the covers to
see his father on his knees, praying fervently to “His Heavenly Father”. The little boy never forgot this example of
the prayer of his father. Tragedy
hit! This boy lost not only his mother
and older brother, but now his father died, when he was but 20 years of age.
However, the seeds were planted due
to the good example of his father. Children--- especially the sons—never forget
the good example left to them by their “Fathers”. The indelible impression was deeply engraved
and would bear abundant fruit in time and for all eternity!
In October of 1978, that little boy
who lost his mother, older brother and then his father, opened up the windows to the Vatican after the Latin “Habemos Papa” was
proclaimed and was proclaimed to the
world as the new “papa”, the new “pope”, the new HOLY FATHER! His name was POPE JOHN PAUL II!
Indeed this HOLY FATHER for close to
28 years manifested to the world at large what it truly means to be a
FATHER! Compassion, love tenderness,
kindness, firmness and wisdom and mercy--- all are the qualities of a true
Eternal Father, send us true FATHERS for the family, for the society, for
the parishes, for the church, and for the world at large! Mary, Daughter of the Father, Mother of the
Son and Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us!