Sunday, June 16, 2013

For Some Fathers, Just a Bouquet of Prayers...

While it is good to give flowers and gifts to a living father on Father's Day, don't forget to pray for your dad.  Flowers will pass in a matter of days, but prayers last forever.

My father was truly a devout Catholic.  My mother was not practicing regularly when they met, and when he proposed to her, he told her she would have to agree to let him raise us Catholics.  She agreed.  He followed through his promise of never pushing her to go to Mass, but he said it didn't take very long for her to ask if she could come.  My parents never missed Sunday Mass unless they were half dead, and that included on vacations.  Even after dad died, the day after the feast of St. Francis in 1991, mom continued to go to Sunday Mass unless she was half dead.

Both of my parents were blessed to die with the final Sacraments.  Dad prayed for a, "happy death" with his daily Rosary that he also prayed for all of us kids. No doubt, my faith benefited from his efforts, and all those Rosaries are still working on me.

Dad admonished me many times to never presume anyone was in heaven because we then find no reason to pray for their soul, which may be in purgatory (see scriptural and catechetical explanation here).  He urged me to pray for the dead no matter how holy they seemed.  I once asked him what happens to those prayers if the person is already in heaven.  He smiled and said, "the poor souls, for whom there is no one to pray for, will benefit from them."  It's a win-win situation.

So, amidst all the nice and cute things floating around the web today, pray for you fathers, especially for those who have left this life.  May the all behold the face of God.

While you can pray in your own words, or pray a simple Hail Mary or Our Father, it might be good to look through some of the Catholic prayers written for this purpose, some by saints long ago.  These are rich theologically and poetically.  This site offers prayers in latin and english. No doubt, the english doesn't do the latin justice poetically, but you get the idea.

And, now for one of those nice things floating around the web.  From Catholic Vote:

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