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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism

Lord, Do You Mean Me? A father-Catechist!

Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism

The author, Francis Etheredge, is a prolific writer about many aspects of Catholicism. In this volume, he reflects on what it is to be a parent who want to take in the vocation, as widely and as specifically as possible, of helping to found the lives of children on the truth, both discoverable and divinely revealed. 

Just as life itself is richly diverse, so are the chapters of this book, and, while there can always be more, let what is here at least be a beginning of God’s continuous work of creating and educating on all in all that belongs to us as human beings, and, at the same time, helping us to see that nothing is wasted, even the wasting of your talents and time can, in the end, he recycled by the Lord as evidence of His help in our lives. 

So, while the face of life and the family is often scarred, and deeply, let this love of God deliver us from sin, slavery and death and bring that abundant light of the resurrection to all who need it! Similarly, just as we discover our own powerlessness in front of sin and suffering, let that discovery turn us to seek the help of Jesus Christ in the many and varied crises of our times.


So how is this experience relevant to being a father-Catechist – because it demonstrates again and again that God acts in the events of our lives: that, while it seems he is absent at times, the call to faith needs sustaining and we go on in the hope of His help. Basic to our life, then, is not denying the reality of what is actually happening; and, therefore, it is increasingly a grace to see how often I have fought against recognizing my reality, spiritual and physical, and how necessary it is that God grant this grace of accepting what is really going on and seeking the help that is needed.

Similarly, in the life of our children, there are so many signs that simply point to the need for a stable practice of the Christian life: that the rudder we need is not to know everything or the outcome of all our problems and difficulties but rather we need the help to be constant because of the constancy of God, experienced through the simplicity of practicing our faith daily.

Therefore, let us not give up on the small and the great challenges of the day, whether within our own lives, that of our families, local needs, country of indeed the cries across the world for the help we need in our times.  Our powerlessness is God’s opportunity to show His merciful greatness! At the same time, as Easter approaches, so the depth of human need, both personal and international begins to explain the profundity of Christ’s death and resurrection: that the event of His dying and rising is an immeasurable event that we constantly need to come back to and praise Him for!

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