Three Small Words for Father’s Day

Father’s Day (or should it be Fathers’ Day?) didn’t exist on this side of the Atlantic when I was a child, so I was spared the agony of trying to find a present or card which would express in hideous tie or stumbling verse what both my father and I would have been far too British to put into words. (He was about 84 before he was able to sign a letter or card with anything more effusive than ‘Best wishes’ . . .) That doesn’t mean that I didn’t know my father loved me, or that I didn’t love him: we just didn’t say it in words until the day we were given the grace to do so.

‘Grace’ is a beautiful word, isn’t it, with its simultaneous echoes of delight and gratitude? I love the way Julian of Norwich refers constantly to ‘Our gracious Lord’ and his ‘gracious love’ for us. She reminds us that if we want to know what the Father’s love for us looks like, we should spend a moment or two before a crucifix. There we see the Word made flesh, pinned to the Cross by love rather than nails, arms held open everlastingly to embrace us. All he asks is an answering, ‘I love you.’

I love you: three small words for Father’s Day. Say them to your earthly father if you have one, and to your heavenly Father also.


7 thoughts on “Three Small Words for Father’s Day”

  1. I say these three small words to my heavenly Father every single day.

    Julian of Norwich had a special way with words and was an example to others. I took her name at my oblation.

    Sister Julian ( Benedictine Oblate ).

  2. I say the same words to the same heavenly Father every day too – it must be the name that does it! It’s now coming up to four months since we lost my beloved mother, but I can also rejoice today that she and my father (and, one hopes, my late brother) are now together again for all time.

  3. How appropriate that in the text on three small words on Father’s day we see mentioned the words “Grace” and “Julian”. My first and only grand daughter’s name is Julianne Grace.

  4. I led intercessory prayers today and addressed them to Father God, which makes the relationship between him and Jesus obvious.

    They seemed to have been well received because one or two people spoke nicely about them.

    I have to confess that my memories of my own father a clouded by bad times as a child, when he was suffering from depression and was a bit abusive physically and verbally towards us. Forgiveness came after his death, and space to grieve and to remember that there were in fact happier times, just obscured by bad memories.

  5. Both Mother’s and Father’s Day can be difficult to endure for those of us who’ve come from less than ideal backgrounds. The many weeks of lead up to the occasions grate as reminders of what was not, what can never be, but we take comfort in celebrating what we became as parents ourselves to our own children, through the grace of God. And, more so, the love we experience as children of God, who in His wisdom provided us with a spiritual mother in Mary. We are not left bereft.

    Happy Father’s Day to all who read this blog!

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