One thing that has been standing out to me more and more as of late, is the spiritual communion I enjoy with my sons.  And this communion is something without which my whole idea of fatherhood would change.  Drastically.  For the worse.  It’s not something that I’m going to be able to do justice to, but I’ll try.

One example is of me at work.  I go to work to provide for and to protect my boys.  To take away the spiritual communion I have with them would be to reduce my work to the manual task of generating income, so as to provide for the necessities of life.  All those things are important, but they are, as I see it, only a part of the package.  And that is because, as a father, I am called to be more than a provider of food and other goods.  That is, I am to care for more than just the body of my boys, but also for their souls.  And that is where the notion of communion comes in.  For without it, it would be hard to make a case that my work (here at this horrible computer) had any direct effect on my boys’ souls; i.e., that my work would have anything to do with getting them to heaven.  Surely it could be argued that there would be an indirect effect.  By providing for their basic necessities, I foster a home environment in which the grace of God can have full effect.  Maybe.

But that’s not what I am getting at.  I’m talking about direct spiritual consequences.  The communion of saints.  My boys are saints.  Christians.  In Christ, I have a deep spiritual communion with them.  We are members of the same body.  What affects me affects them.  What affects them affects me.  The work I do, when done well, can merit graces for them.  The sufferings I endure, when endured well, can merit graces for them.  All of this applies also to the wider church, who are also members of the same body.  But I think it applies especially “closely” to those within our domestic churches.

All of this is never more readily obvious to me than when I have sundered that communion by some deliberate act of stupidity.  During those brief moments before communion is restored, I am filled with a stiff sense of futility as regards my work.  As if it were completely pointless to carry on with any of it.  For under such circumstances, there really is no point.  All becomes vanity!  There is no purpose or point to any of this little game.  Oh, but sweet mercy, it really does underline for me the emptiness of a “secular fatherhood”.  We go out into the world and we are just…away from those who are most important to us.  And have no connection to them.

But we do.


~ by Rob on December 23, 2008.

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