Read the amazing and life transforming Church approved revelation of God the Father to Mother Eugenia Ravasio! The Father Speaks to His Children
Blogposts on God the Father
(These posts will be reflecting on each mention of God the Father in the Gospels and will be done sequentially. The number indicates which mention of the Father that one is in the New Testament, beginning with the Gospel of St. Matthew.)
“Give glory to Your Father in Heaven.”
- “Even so let your light shine before men, in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16).
This first mention of the Father by Name in the New Testament shows us how Jesus came to reverse the effects of original sin.
Jesus, later in the same Sermon on the Mount, will say that, “Every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (Mt 7:17). People seeing the good fruit in our lives are attracted to the tree. Unlike the fruit of the” tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 3:9), which also appeared good, but led to the glorification of man in place of God (i.e. death), the fruit of those who do good works so that the Father may be glorified always leads to life. When our Good Father is known and glorified in His True Nature then we find again the purpose of our existence as His beloved sons and daughters. This is the Light that “the Light of the World” (Jn 8:12) came to bring to us so that we could in turn spread its radiance everywhere.
“Be children of Your Father in Heaven.”
- (Mt 5:45) “But I say to you, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute and calumniate you, so that you may be children of Your Father in Heaven, who makes His sun to rise on the good and the evil, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”
The Father desires to Gift each person with His Eternal Son and the refreshing Reign of His Holy Spirit. Our supernatural lives depend on our opening to receive these Gifts, just as our natural lives depend on the sun and the rain. If we who have received the Son and the Spirit through our Baptism refuse to love our enemies, then we cut ourselves off from Our Father Who is Love (1 Jn 4:8), and we close the Door of Love that the Father wanted to open to our enemies. We hold the key to this Door which opens through the astonishment which occurs when our enemies realize that we love them no matter what they do to us.
“Be perfect, even as Your Heavenly Father is perfect.”
- (Mt 5:48) “You therefore are to be perfect, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”
According to Father Michael Ciccone, OP, in the original Hebrew the word in this verse translated into English as “perfect” has the meaning of total self- giving love. This total self-giving love is our vocation as masculine and feminine persons created in God’s image. To love our enemies is above our nature–it requires grace; but we do not like to be vulnerable and dependent on grace. And yet we need to receive a continual flow of God’s grace into our souls if we are going to continue to love our enemies. It’s clear that to be perfect as Our Heavenly Father is perfect requires us to become ever more vulnerable to God’s grace and ever more dependent on His Fatherhood. Here is where Our Lady can help us. If we consecrate ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart, then from within this Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit we can pray, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” (Lk 1:38). She who was “clothed with power from on high (Lk 24:49) at the Annunciation (Lk 1:35) and again at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), like the good Mother who She is, desires to clothe us in Her own vulnerability and receptivity to the Word.
“Reward with Your Father in Heaven”
- (Mt 6:1) “Take heed not to do your good before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you shall have no reward with your Father in heaven.”
Earlier in the same Sermon on the Mount, Jesus had said, “Let your light shine before men, in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven” (Mt 5:14). The difference is in the motive and in the result. In both cases good works are being done openly, but we have a choice to do our good works to glorify the Father (since we are unable to do anything good except by His Gift), or to glorify ourselves (by trying to get other people to notice our goodness).
The fact is that just as we frequently misjudge the motives of others, so they frequently misjudge ours. Even if it were possible to get people to notice and think that we are good, it is very silly to try to do so, because we have no goodness either in being or action except what we have received from Our Father. So glorifying ourselves is a form of lying which leaves us sad and disconnected. On the other hand if we do good in order to praise Our Father and to lead others to recognize His Goodness, then we are filled with joy because “One there is Who is good, and He is God” (Mt 19:16). This joy is the “reward that we receive from Our Father in Heaven” (Mt 6:1) because when we let our light shine before men in order to glorify Him, our souls also are illuminated with a deeper awareness of the Father and His magnificent Love (which is the origin and goal of our existence).
“Thy Father Who sees in secret”
- (Mt 6:4) “But when thou givest alms, do not let thy left hand know what thy right hand is doing, so that they alms may be given in secret; and thy Father, who sees in secret, will reward thee.”
Everything we have to give as alms, and even the urge to give alms are gifts from our Heavenly Father. But we are still hiding from Our Father “among the trees” (Gen 3:8) and trying to cover our nakedness with fig leaves (Gen 3:7). Because we are made in His Image, we are inclined to imitate Our Father (Who is Self-Giving Love) by giving alms. But we have forgotten Our Source because acknowledging Him requires acknowledging our nakedness and dependence on Him. So we want our action of giving alms to make us appear beautifully clothed, godlike, and independent in the eyes of other people. Part of this charade is convincing ourselves of our own independent goodness which is why Jesus says, “Do not let thy left hand know what thy right hand is doing” (Mt 6:3). Rather than acting “in order to be seen” (Mt 6:1) by others, we should act to be seen by Our Heavenly Father “Who sees in secret” (Mt 6:6) and Who loves us totally despite our naked sinfulness. He has prepared new “garments of skin” (Gen 3:21) for us, desiring to clothe us in His Beloved Son, Jesus (Gal 3:27) and “with Power from on High” (Lk 24:49).
“Pray to thy Father in secret.”
- “But when thou prayest, go into thy room, and closing thy door, pray to thy Father in secret;” (Mt 6:6a).
While we cannot always physically enter a private room to pray, we can always enter our hearts and privately meet the Lord there. To do this we must first enter that interior space, then shut the door of our intellect to our myriad preoccupations, and recall the secret Presence of our Heavenly Father. We must learn to love silence; otherwise the door will be open and distractions will rush in to invade our private prayer. St. Ignatius used to counsel his Jesuit brothers to begin their daily examen by taking a moment to become aware of the Father’s personal Love for them. This is very important; otherwise we will be tempted to try to earn His Love by reminding Him of our various accomplishments or the prayers we have prayed, etc. We cannot earn His Love; it is a Gift. Awareness of the Father is the beginning of prayer. We are sons in the Son. “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father’” (Gal 4:6).
“Thy Father Who sees in secret, will reward thee.”
7. (Mt 6:6b) “And thy Father, who sees in secret, will reward thee.”The Gift of going unnoticed, Immeasurable Fountain of JoyMy Secret Father, Who enables my thought,Yet hides behind my freedom;I’m made of nothing.Dear Father, Seeing in Secret,With a new heart;That beats out my life’s instant,
Under Your Fatherly Gaze.
Reward and reword me
Allowing me to forget,
Who calls me into Being,
The Only Witness that I’m here;
The Father Who sees in secret,
Dangerous even to mention
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
8. “But in praying, do not multiply words, as the Gentiles do; for they think that by saying a great deal, they will be heard. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Mt 6:7-8).
Our ever attentive Father
Who called us
Out of nothingness
Into Being and Communion;
Whose air we breathe
In and out incessantly;
Whose plants and animals we eat;
Whose water, milk, and wine we drink;
Whose beautiful creation we see;
Whose Words of Life we hear;
Whose scent of flowers we enjoy;
Whose Beloved Son
We touch in one another; (Mt 25:40);
He, Who each day is
Our delicious Communion;
Our ever attentive Father
Seeks worshippers in Spirit and Truth (Jn 4:23);
And knows what we need,
Before we ask Him.
- 9. “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”
“In this manner therefore shall you pray: “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed by Thy Name” (Mt 6:9).
This is our immeasurable Treasure that to each of us belongs Our Eternal Father Who is Being, Who exists in perfect happiness, and Who continues to call us into being and to sustain us in being. Jesus tells us to begin our prayer this way because Our Father is our origin and goal and there is nothing that we could pray for or receive that would not be His Gift. Also due to the intellectual density caused in us by original sin and its consequences, we often forget where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. Addressing Our Father by Name in this way helps to reorient us back to Reality. As St. John Paul II explained this, “The key for interpreting reality is that original sin attempts to abolish fatherhood” (Crossing the Threshold of Hope, pg. 228). Once we realize that our battle lies in maintaining, protecting, and growing in our relationship with Our Father in Heaven, it becomes easier to stop fretting about the thousands of other things which strive to occupy our attention.
10. “Forgive…your Heavenly Father will forgive you.
- Although we are made of nothing, Our Father has given us the power to forgive. This power is one of the highest manifestations of His image in us. Yet if we were never offended, we’d have nothing to forgive. We wouldn’t be able to use this power we’ve been given. This would be a big problem for us because we are all offenders ourselves. In this way we can see (although probably only intellectually) that when Our Father allows us to be offended against, it is actually a gift of His Fatherly Providence to us since it allows us to use our God-like power to forgive. Even more importantly, it makes us eligible to receive our Heavenly Father’s forgiveness, which is dependent on the exercise of our power to forgive.
11.“For if you forgive men their offenses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you your offenses” (Mt 6:14).
- “If you do not forgive…neither will your Father forgive you.”
12.“But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offenses” (Mt 6:15).
On this Sunday, August 24, 2014, as we prepare to gather at 2:00 pm to celebrate a Memorial Mass at our parish of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary for Jim Foley, who was murdered by terrorists in Syria on Tuesday, August 19th, Our Father is very present with the Foleys and with our whole parish and city. Last night we prayed together with a group of Muslims who had organized a vigil on the Rochester Commons in tribute to Jim Foley for his work and witness in Syria. We prayed together as one people under one God Who is Father of us all.
Dear Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus, Your Beloved Son, Whom You sacrificed for us, please give us all, especially the Foleys, the grace to forgive this grave offense and all the other multitudes of lesser offenses which we have experienced in our lifetimes. Place us deeply in the Sacred Heart of Your Son, Jesus and in the Immaculate Heart of our Mother Mary where there is only Love and Mercy. And let us be the Light that you came to bring to the world, so that every person may know that Love is more powerful than hatred and Love is eternal. Amen.
- “Thy Father Who is in secret”
13. “But thou, when thou dost fast, anoint thy head and wash thy face, so that thou mayest not be seen fasting by men, but by thy Father, who is in secret” (Mt 6:17, 18a).
He Who is
Our hearts’ Creator
He Who sees
The thoughts of the heart
Desires to be
The secret delight
Of every heart.
“And thy Father, Who sees in secret, will reward thee.”
14.“And thy Father, Who sees in secret, will reward thee” (Mt 6: 18b).
How many times have I read this verse without pausing to wonder:
Why is the Father in secret?
Who is the secret being kept from?
Why does the All Seeing Father “see in secret?”
How does this secret seeing become our reward?
We love secrets. There is something delicious about them. We are honored to be a confidant. If it is a joyful secret being temporarily held from a loved one- whom it is destined to delight- we joyfully anticipate its revelation! When we are in love the thoughts of our heart migrate continually and joyfully to the loved one. This delight is the heart’s secret. Outwardly no actions have changed. But our view from the inside is entirely transformed by our heart’s secret love. What may have been drab routine in dull surroundings is suddenly elevated to praise of the Beloved.
Maybe I am the one the secret is being kept from–my busy outside, disorganized I who seems to sense there is a secret love nearby all this clutter.
He sees in secret because no one except the one being seen knows what the Seeing One is perceiving. Only the Father (with the Son and Spirit) knows I am here (sees me); everyone else sees only the exterior person.
We all desire to be known and loved for who we are, no matter what we have done or not done. Once we begin to drink in this Truth that in Jesus we are beloved sons in the Son—there is no external reward that is comparable to this delight. He Who sees in secret made us so that we could delight in seeing and being seen by Him.
- “Your Heavenly Father feeds them.”
15.“Look at the birds of the air: they do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you of much more value than they?” (Mt 6:26).
Our Heavenly Father knows all our needs and desires to provide for us. We have a Father Who is unlimited in resources. We have a Father Who loved us into being. Instead of regarding Our Father with suspicion and distrust, let us spend our heartbeats and minutes praising Him; walking in the Way He has prepared for us, and receiving from His Bounty.
- “Your Father knows that you need all these things.”
16.“Therefore do not be anxious saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or, ‘What shall we drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’ (for after all these things the Gentiles seek); for your Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be given you besides” (Mt 6:31-33).
Those children of the Heavenly Father who recognize His Kingdom, Authority, and Love enjoy a huge security of heart. Babies and young children rely totally on their parents for food, drink, and clothing. As they age they develop their own resources. They then have the choice to begin to think of themselves as their own authority and the procurer of these goods, or they can continue to recognize that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration” (James 1:17).
The difference then becomes whether we rely on ourselves or on Our Heavenly Father. If we rely on ourselves then (because we are so small and inadequate) we are filled with the anxiety and worry regarding food, drink, and clothing. On the other hand if we rely on Our Heavenly Father, we still have to work to procure these goods, but we recognize that even the work itself is His Gift; we were “created in good works, which God has made ready beforehand that we may walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). If we rely on Our Heavenly Father we do not have to live in anxiety because we know that He is our Loving, Provident Father Who “knows that we need all these things” (Mt 6:32).
People do not want to be identified by their job if their job is only seen by them as a way to provide for life’s necessities. For example a person might work in a store or a factory for this reason. But if the same person, doing the same job, instead saw their job (in all its mundane routine) as a means of glorifying their Heavenly Father and advancing His Kingdom, then this person would no longer mind being identified through their job. We want our lives to have a meaning beyond the mere sustenance of our physical lives. This meaning can only be found in Our Heavenly Father Who is our Origin and our End. We were created to reign joyfully as sons in the Son in His Kingdom forever.
- “How much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
17. “Therefore if you, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Mt 7:11).
Evil is the absence of good. Our Father in Heaven is the fullness of the Good. We inherited all types of evil (lacking in good) when our first parents disobeyed God and ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (cf. Gen. 2:17). Our Father did not want us to know evil (lack of good) but that was the choice of our first parents. Yet despite the evil of our fallen condition, we are still created in the image of the One Who is Good. “One there is Who is Good, and He is God” (Mt 19:17). Because we are created in the Image of the Good, it is still natural to us (part of our nature) to give good things to our children.
Noticing this almost universal principle of humanity should lead us to acknowledge our Father and Creator, the Source of all Goodness. Coming down from the Father of Lights, Source of every good and perfect gift (cf. James 1:17), this tendency of kindness to our children is like a shaft of sunlight pervading the darkness of our fallen condition and leading us to acknowledge Our Father in Heaven. Observing it should give us an unshakeable confidence that we will receive what we ask for and need from our Loving, Provident, Heavenly Father.
- “Who does the will of My Father in Heaven shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
18. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father in Heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and work many miracles in thy name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity’” (Mt. 7:21-23).
When I was first converting from a life of sin I tried to do many good things to try to earn God’s favor and forgiveness. At the time I did not “know” the Lord nor understand that without Him I could do nothing (cf. John 15:5).
The Church is the Bride of Christ, she is One Body with Him through Baptism and the Eucharist, and she has the authority to act in His Name. As individual members of the Body we are called to do good works in His Name. Married couples can either have a truthful relationship in which they make a total self- gift to one another, or they can have a contracepted relationship which appears truthful, but actually prevents the husband and wife from “knowing” one another and becoming fruitful. Similarly we can act in Christ’s Name without “knowing” Him as the Bride knows the Bridegroom. This is done when we do external good works for our own self –glory, but we remain sterile because we don’t fully trust God or surrender ourselves to Him. We try to determine for ourselves what is good instead of following the Lord’s lead.
As an example consider Ananias, the believer in Damascus whom the Lord called to go and baptize Saul of Tarsus (cf. Acts 9:10-18). Intellectually this did not make sense to Ananias and he tried to reason with the Lord. But when the Lord still insisted that he go, Ananias obeyed and baptized the great Apostle Paul whose life continues to bear fruit down through the centuries. If Ananias had not “known” the Lord and was not “known” by Him, he may have said something like, “Lord, I don’t think it’s a good idea to baptize Saul, but I’ll go down to the marketplace and find five other people to baptize for You.”
We have to pray for the grace to trust the Eternal Father and to live in union with His Son Jesus Who always does the Will of the Father (cf. John 6:38). This requires the surrender of our plans and ideas of how we think the world should be saved.
- “The Spirit of your Father Who speaks through you.”
19. “But when they deliver you up, do not be anxious how or what you are to speak; for what you are to speak will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father Who speaks through you” (Mt 10:19-20).
Spirit of My Father
The Father and the Son
Gift of God Most High
Come Holy Spirit
Fire cast by the Word
Burn away the clutter
Of my scattered thoughts.
Turn to ashes
My selfish plans.
Spirit of my Father,
Come Holy Spirit
Gift of God Most High
Live in me
And speak through me
And utterly possess me
As you possess
And speak through
My Immaculate Mother.