‘Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God,
Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.’
When I was in formation for First Promises in the Discalced Secular Carmelites, my formation teacher taught our little group to be aware of words, thoughts, ideas, etc., which seemed to recur throughout the days and weeks. This could happen in a book or through something we were listening to or watching or in a friendly conversation, but most importantly, especially during prayer. She instructed us to write down these “coincidences,” and to look for a pattern, because God often communicates with us in this way.
I remembered this little exercise when over the past couple of Sundays at Mass, the phrase, Son of the Father, from the beautiful song of praise, the Gloria, caught my attention. How many times have I heard these words, and yet suddenly they were impressed deeply upon my heart.
Monday morning, when I tuned in to Women of Grace on EWTN, Johnette’s guest for the week was Father George Montague,SM who has recently written a book entitled: Living in the Father’s Embrace. If I were still keeping my little notebook, I would have had much to write.
As though I needed more encouragement, the patron Saint chosen for this week’s Women of Grace series was St. Therese, described as “a patron for loving the Father.”
Lord, what does all of this mean? I whispered. I thought perhaps it would please Jesus if I began calling Him Son of the Father more often…not just at Mass.
Then I turned to the Scriptures and recalled the words of Jesus: “Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Matthew 11:27 (NJB)
On Johnette’s programs this week, one theme has been how so many view the Father as the God of the Old Testament. Many people fear thunderbolts and severity if they draw too near to God the Father. Yet, Who is Jesus but the perfect Image of the Father? All of the tenderness, mercy and love we are attracted to in Jesus dwell in the Heart of the Father as well.
In the introduction to his book, Father Montague writes: “…if we really want to know Jesus, we had better ask the Father to show us who Jesus really is. And by the same token, to know the Father as Jesus knows him…and that is the only way…Jesus must give us the gift of his own experience of the Father.”
I am excited and humbled that Jesus is calling me, and surely you as well, to better know His Father as He knows Him, and in turn, to know Jesus as only the Father knows the Son.
To know God more is to love Him more! Let us enter deeply into this revelation which Jesus, Son of the Father, desires to share with us. Surely His Sacred Heart burns for us to love His Father with the greatest affection and trust.
St. Therese, whose confidence in God knew no bounds, spoke of playing on the “lap” of God in Heaven. Surely she will indeed be a patron for us in learning to love God the Father.
Father Montague gives us this lovely prayer in the introduction to his book:
Jesus, lay your hands upon my head at this
moment and send me the Holy Spirit to teach me to
know the Father as you know him, to call him
“Abba.” As I read, may your Spirit breathe upon
my heart and enlighten my mind to this mystery of
Quotations by Father George Montague, SM are from his book:
Living in the Father’s Embrace
Experiencing the Love at the Heart of the Trinity
Publisher: The Word Among Us Press
Copyright 2014 by George T. Montague, SM