March 15, 2022
“You have but one Father in heaven”
From the words of Christ, the Word Incarnate, we know in a very certain way, henceforth unveiled and glowing inmour hearts, that we have a Father in heaven, a God who loves with paternal tenderness, and not only a Creator. God takes delight in all that he has made – God saw all things that he had made, and they were very good (Gen 1: 31) – but He loves only men and angels as His children.
For the pagan sages also, inparticular for the Stoics, the naame Father was doubtless befitting to God, but in an entirely different sense, referring only to the Principle of the cosmos as the universal First Cause: God was our Father because he had begotten us, and because His spark in us caused us to be marked with a resemblance to Him. Even in the Old Testament the true meaning of divine Fatherhood remained implicit and was not unveiled. “Fatherhood was the atribute of God the Creator and the God of providence” (Father Marie-Joseph Lagrange, OP.) It was the Only Son, who dwells in the bosom of the Father, who told us of this God whom no man has seen at any time (Jn 1: 18).
All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and He to whom the Son may choose to reveal Him (Mt 11: 27) – Father in an absolutely unique sense for Jesus, whose Person is consubstantial and identical in nature with the First Person of the Trinity. God is Father for His adopted sons in a sense which Jesus alone revealed: He calls us to share, through the supernatural gift of grace, in His intimate life, His possessions, His beatitude, in the heritage of His incomprehensible and infinitely transcendent Godhead, and to become perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48). As Saint John Chrysostom said, “By the very name Father, we confess the remission of sins, sanctification, redemption, adoption, inheritance, our bond of brotherhood with the only Son, and the gifts of the Spirit.”
Raissa maritain (+1960) was born in Russia. She was a convert to Catholicism and the wife of philosopher Jacques Maritain.