You will be My people and I will be your God

Welcome to God the Father Calls. Please feel free to explore all pages and links provided for more information about our Heavenly Father.

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“The Divine Teacher invites us to recognize first of all the primacy of God the Father. Wherever He is absent, nothing can be good: He is a crucial priority for all things. Kingdom of Heaven means, in fact, lordship of God and this means that His Will must be adopted as the guiding criterion of our existence” (Benedict XVI, General Audience, 7/17/11).  The aforementioned statement by Benedict XVI serves as a beacon of light about the priority of our relationship with God our Father. The purpose of this site is to provide content and inspiration for the journey into our Eternal Father’s Heart.

Solitary boast


DECEMBER 8th immaculate-conception-cropped


Roses for blog

Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
With the least shade of thought to sin allied;
Woman! above all women glorified,
Our tainted nature’s solitary boast;
Purer than foam on central ocean tost;
Brighter than eastern skies on daybreak strewn
With fancied roses, then the unblemished moon
Before her wane begins on heaven’s blue coast;
Thy image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween
Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend
As to a visible Power, in which did bend
All that was mixed and reconciled in Thee
Of mother’s love with maiden purity

Of high with low, celestial with terrene!

                                                                     Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Father’s loving plan

Jesus[2]“At the beginning of his letter to the Christians of Ephesus (cf. 1: 3-14), the apostle Paul raises a prayer of blessing God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – a prayer that we have just heard – that introduces us to live the season of Advent, in the context of the faith. The theme of this hymn of praise is God’s plan for man, defined in terms full of joy, wonder and gratitude, as a “benevolent plan,”  mercy and love.

Why does the Apostle raise this blessing to God, from the depths of his heart? Because he looks at his work in the history of salvation, culminating in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus, and he contemplates how the Heavenly Father has chosen us even before the creation of the world, to be his sons in his only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ (cf. Rom 8:14; Gal 4:4 ff). Therefore we exist from eternity in God, in a major project that God has kept within himself and decided to implement and to reveal in ‘the fullness of time’ (cf. Eph 1:10). St. Paul helps us to understand, then, how all creation and, in particular, man and woman are not the result of chance, but a loving plan to respond to the eternal reason of God with the creative and redemptive power of his Word which creates the world. This first statement reminds us that our vocation is not simply to exist in the world, being inserted in history, or even just being a creature of God, it is something greater: it is being chosen by God, even before the creation of the world, in the Son, Jesus Christ. In Him we exist, so to speak, already. God contemplates us in Christ, as adopted children. The ‘benevolent plan’  of God, which is qualified by the Apostle as a ‘loving plan’ (Eph 1:5), is called “the mystery” of Divine will (v. 9), hidden and now revealed in the Person and work of Christ. The divine initiative precedes any human response: it is a free gift of His love that surrounds us and transforms us. (Benedict XVI, Advent general audience, 12-5-2012)


th_god[1]May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God, be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God and the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.

Golden Arrow prayer-Sr. Marie of St. Pierre, O.C.D.

Holy is His Name

In a way the very act of “defining” or naming God requires a reverence not unlike Moses being told to remove his sandals, for indeed we are “on holy ground.” A holiness that renders his name unpronounceable and thus written as such: YHWH.  The first time it appears is in Gen 2:4.” This is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation. When the LORD God (YHWH) made the earth and the heavens.” In Exodus 3:14 Moses asked God for his name in order to tell it to the Israelites. Surely he was wanting to back up his “mission” with authority and verification. He was not disappointed, for the “Voice” coming from the burning bush made it known: “God replied to Moses:’I am who I am.'” then he added: ‘This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM (YHWH) has sent me to you.'”

The reverence which the Jewish scribe had for the holy name of God went so far as to give burial to the page on which he made a mistake in transcribing the word YHWH. These written characters represented the very being of God, which, of course, always remains an ineffable mystery. Therefore, it was done with utmost respect and devotion. These four letters mean “He[who] is.” Therefore, it bespeaks of the very essence of God’s nature.

What is so meaningful is the fact that, in giving us the prayer of the Our Father, Jesus has also amplified the definition of God in this way: “Our Father…hallowed be thy name.” In other words, of all the descriptions given to YHWH in the Old Testament,  it is the word father that Jesus connects to the very nature of God!

Actually all of this is too sacred for words. And because it is so, it is best simply to bow down and worship. Holy is his name!

What is in a name

For the most part, what is the first thing we want to hear when we meet someone for the first time? Even in the most casual of settings, a person’s name comes up quite quickly. Names are important. However, if this is true today, it was even more so in ancient biblical times. Names were not just a label or means of identification, but they were relavatory; that is, revealing something otherwise unknown or a protrayal of expectation. This is true especially in the bible. Much is undersood about a person or a place in view of the name given. There are instances in scripture where a place is named or a person’s name is changed to denote a very special event of life-transformation. Such is the case with Abram becoming Abraham or Jacob becoming Israel; and in the New Testament when Simon bar Jonah’s name is changed to Cephas (Peter)

For our purposes the word “name” does not limit itself to the etymology of the word God. He is given different names to describe a particular meaning of his divine intervention or manifestation. Such is the case of the name Yahweh-Shalom: the Lord is Peace. By meditating on the names of God in this way as given in Holy Scripture,we can deepen not just our understanding of God and his ways; but we can advance in our intimate relationship by discovering his attributes, character and nature. This is so, starting with the name God himself gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai, to the telling description of God’s action and dealings with his people: “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want….” This evokes many sentiments of solace and trust.

In the next blog entries we will linger on God’s many descriptive names, from God our Creator to God our everlasting Father.

I will raise you up

The story is over, the prodigal son has returned. But an important and unique aspect of the story exists, which was elaborated on by John Paul II in his encyclical dedicated to God the Father, Dives in misericordia. Understanding this aspect makes our return journey to our Father all the more desirable; frankly, it makes it easier. Obviously, the return of the prodigal son was not a matter of punitive payback or discipline. Neither was it used as a ‘teachable moment’ to put the son in his place as reckless and condemn him to a lock-down. Instead, the father had in mind for his son the restoration of his lost dignity.

In the chapter Particular Concentration on Human Dignity in the above-referenced encyclical, John Paul II explained: “This exact picture of the prodigal son’s state of mind enables us to understand exactly what the mercy of God consists in. There is no doubt that in this simple but penetrating analogy the figure of the father reveals to us God as Father. The conduct of the father in the parable and his whole behavior, which manifests his internal attitude, enables us to rediscover the individual threads of the Old Testament vision of mercy in a synthesis which is totally new, full of simplicity and depth. The father of the prodigal son is faithful to his fatherhood, faithful to the love that he had always lavished on his son. This fidelity is expressed in the parable not only by his immediate readiness to welcome him home when he returns after having squandered his inheritance; it is expressed even more fully by that joy, that merrymaking for the squanderer after his return” (Dives in misericordia).

“The father’s fidelity to himself – a trait already known by the Old Testament term hesed – is at the same time expressed in a manner particularly charged with affection. We read, in fact, that when the father saw the prodigal son returning home, ‘he had compassion, ran to meet him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him’ (Lk 15:20). He certainly does this under the influence of a deep affection, and this also explains his generosity towards his son . . . Notice, the father is aware that a fundamental good has been saved: the good of his son’s humanity. Although the son has squandered the inheritance, nevertheless his humanity is saved. Indeed, it has been, in a way, found again. The father’s words to the elder son reveal this: ‘It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead and is alive; he was lost and is found’ (Lk 15:32)” (Dives in misericordia).

“What took place in the relationship between the father and the son in Christ’s parable is not to be evaluated ‘from the outside.’ Our prejudices about mercy are mostly the result of appraising them only from the outside. At times it happens that by following this method of evaluation we see in mercy above all a relationship of inequality between the one offering it and the one receiving it. And, in consequence, we are quick to deduce that mercy belittles the receiver, that it offends the dignity of man. The parable of the prodigal son shows that the reality is different: the relationship of mercy is based on the common experience of that good which is man, on the common experience of the dignity that is proper to him. This common experience makes the prodigal son begin to see himself and his actions in their full truth (this vision in truth is a genuine form of humility); on the other hand, for this very reason he becomes a particular good for his father: the father sees so clearly the good which has been achieved thanks to a mysterious radiation of truth and love, that he seems to forget all the evil which the son had committed” (ibid.).

The New Jerusalem

We have come full circle with the repentant son in the arms of the father (cf. Lk 15: 11-21). By this we mean that traveling the pathway of the circle of love and submitting to the transformation offered us by Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit and Mary’s fiat, we become ready to enter into the New Jerusalem according to the loving plan of God the Father.

This journey of ours began with the Father’s promise in the book of Genesis: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; they will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel” (Gn 3:15). It has now started reaching the fullness of the Father’s plan, as described in the book of Revelation:

“I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be His people and God Himself will always be with them (as their God). He will wipe every tear from their eyes and there shall be no more death or mourningwailing or pain, for the old order has passed away. The one who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ Then he said, ‘Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.’  He said to me, ‘They are accomplished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor will inherit these gifts and I shall be his God, and he will be My son'” (Rev 21: 3-7).

I shall arise and go to my father

Today is the feast of St Luke, a perfect time to meditate on the next step in our journey which takes place in the circle of love. The gospel of Luke is called the gospel of mercy because it contains parables not found in the other synoptic Gospels. They illustrate the tender mercy of God, with the most famous of these narratives being the parable of the prodigal son. This parable is central in Dives in misericordia – the encyclical of John Paul II dedicated to the Eternal Father – as his first words show: “It is God who is rich in mercy whom Jesus Christ has revealed to us as Father: it is His very Son who, in himself, has manifested him and made him known to us.” All the main elements of the human condition in relation to salvation history are contained in this parable: the son leaves his father’s house, squanders his inheritance, then suffers degradation and conviction as a result – all subjects of our recent meditations on our return trip back to the Father. But all this pales in light of the character of the son’s father as described in Luke’s gospel.

First, the father of the prodigal son was constantly watching for his son’s return: “While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him” (Lk 15:20). The father did not even let his son reveal all the misery in his heart. How many times must the son have rehearsed what he would say to his father, to take him back, but during the actual encounter became engulfed in the happiness of his father’s heart: “His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began” (Lk 15: 21-24).

We are invited to celebrate our own return by imitating the young man in this gospel story. The essence of the parable is to convince us that true repentance lies not just in the minimum request of the son, but his full restoration back into the father’s household. The son was only seeking some of the bread given daily to his father’s servants; instead he was brought back into full communion with the father as the returning son. Our Heavenly Father waits for each one of us.

Far off country

We considered the action of the Holy Spirit within the context of our return journey to God the Father. John Paul II’s encyclical on the Holy Spirit is important because it addresses another reality we must face and enter into with all our hearts – personal conversion. All of us can wear the badge of the prodigal son as we are all in a far off country, caught up in many things which distanced us from the Father’s Heart. Most of us are not aware of such distancing and the action of the Holy Spirit is needed, to bring us back into a right relationship with God. This has to begin with a certain conviction about our present distance, including sin. The point here, however, is not to focus only on our separation but on the remedy granted to us.

To quote from the encyclical Dominum et vivificantem, “Beginning from this initial witness at Pentecost and for all future time the action of the Spirit of truth who ‘convinces the world concerning the sin of the rejection of Christ is linked inseparably with the witness to be borne to the Paschal Mystery: the mystery of the Crucified and Risen One. And in this link the same convincing concerning sin reveals its own salvific dimension. For it is a convincing that has as its purpose not merely the accusation of the world and still less its condemnation. Jesus Christ did not come into the world to judge it and condemn it but to save it (cf. Jn 3:17; 12:47). This is emphasized in this first discourse when Peter exclaims: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). And then when those present ask Peter and the Apostles: ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ this is Peter’s answer: ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”

“The Holy Spirit, who in the words of Jesus convinces concerning sin, is the love of the Father and the Son, and as such is the Trinitarian gift, and at the same time the eternal source of every divine giving of gifts to creatures. Precisely in him we can picture as personified and actualized in a transcendent way that mercy which the patristic and theological tradition following the line of the Old and New Testaments attributes to God. In man, mercy includes sorrow and compassion for the misfortunes of one’s neighbor. In God, the Spirit-Love expresses the consideration of human sin in a fresh outpouring of salvific love. From God, in the unity of the Father with the Son, the economy of salvation is born, the economy which fills the history of man with the gifts of the Redemption . . . The Holy Spirit will enter into human and cosmic suffering with a new outpouring of love, which will redeem the world. And on the lips of Jesus the Redeemer, in whose humanity the suffering of God is concretized, there will be heard a word which manifests the eternal love full of mercy: ‘Miserere’ (cf. Mt 15:32; Mk 8:2). Thus on the part of the Holy Spirit, convincing of sin becomes a manifestation before creation which is subjected to futility, and above all in the depth of human consciences, that sin is conquered through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God who has become even unto death the obedient servant who, by making up for man’s disobedience, accomplishes the redemption of the world. In this way the spirit of truth, the Paraclete, convinces concerning sin” (Dominum et vivificantem).

So the work of the Holy Spirit brings us into the truth, laying out before us the disorder of our sin and its consequences, to mention first the very pain of God derived from His deep pity. John Paul II described this pain as follows: “But more often the Sacred Book speaks to us of a Father who feels compassion for man as though sharing his pain. In a word, this inscrutable and indescribable fatherly pain will bring about, above all, the wonderful economy of redemptive love in Jesus Christ, so that through the mysterium pietatis, love can reveal itself in the history of man as stronger than sin, so that the gift may prevail” (ibid.).

Year of Faith

The great circle of love presupposes a journey of faith. Today the Year of Faith began, called for by Benedict XVI. It cannot be emphasized enough with regard to its importance, a dimension of this year which is elaborated in his Apostolic Letter Porta fidei. We are being called to enter the door of faith (Acts 14:27), a fact clearly enunciated at the beginning of the text: “To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. It begins with baptism (cf. Rom 6:4), through which we can address God as Father, and it ends with the passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him into his own glory” (cf. Jn 17:22). Benedict continued, “To profess faith in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is to believe in one God who is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8): the Father, who in the fullness of time sent his Son for our salvation; Jesus Christ, who in the mystery of his death and resurrection redeemed the world; the Holy Spirit, who leads the Church across the centuries as we await the Lord’s glorious return.”

We considered these truths on this blog in recent posts on the role of the great circle of love in salvation history – the circle of our journey home. The Year of Faith, therefore, calls us into deeper penetration of this mystery, evoking a sense of awe and excitement which will serve as a stimulus to strengthen our motivation, to keep going on our return journey in faith into the heart of God our Father.