Fatherly Advice

Lk 11: 8-13 A Friend To Open the Door

Thursday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?”
“To the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

God must have been laughing when I got locked out of my room this weekend.
For two weeks, I’ve perpetually kept my key tied around astretchy elastic band around my wrist. But disastrously, I had taken my key off when I practiced the day before and left it in my violin case (a fatal decision that I would only discover later). And so, I was locked outside of my room, with every RA in the building gone and a violin lesson in an hour.

Even if I had knocked, the door would not have been open to me; alas, there was no one behind the door. An hour later, though, my roommate eventually came back, and I was able to run down to the music school, take a 30-minute lesson, and emerge from the lesson, still sweating, with time left to buy a pumpkin. God is so good.

Sometimes, it seems as if there is no one behind the door, and that God isn’t listening. But the actions of friends and their prayers for you can open the door and bring you the grace of God.
The Catholic Fish (the freshmen of University Catholic) have aGroupMe, which is the better version of the group text. At the beginning, we started praying Compline and Rosary together in the late hours of the night together, and our group has grown so strong. In the past week, members of the group have started putting prayer requests into the GroupMe, and because we’re praying with and for each other, we’re only getting stronger.

Prayer chains often arise only in times of crisis. But how much better would it be if we could pray with our friends all the time—“to pray without ceasing?” If we can pray together all the time, we can pray together at any time.

So get a group of your friends together and go get lunch. Then, after lunch, find a place to pray and say a decade of the Rosary. Or better yet, the whole Rosary (and good for you if you don’t get the Nicene creed and the Apostolic creed mixed up; the Fish are still working on that). Prayer is powerful, and sometimes, someone else has to open that door for you.
Catholic World News

Diverse synod groups united in concern over ‘gender ideology’

Vatican City, Oct 13, 2015 / 12:46 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Despite the significant differences among the 13 small groups that are discussing the working document at the Synod on the Family, the majority are in agreement that gender ideology poses a serious challenge for families in the modern world.

Seven of the bishops’ working groups – which are divided by language – mention gender ideology as one of their major concerns and suggest that the synod’s working document does not sufficiently address the issue.

Gender theory or ideology is the idea that one’s ‘gender’ is chosen and need not correspond with one’s biological sex.

Pope Francis has tackled the issue at least once during his series of general audiences dedicated to family.

“I ask myself, if the so-called ‘gender theory’ is not, at the same time, an expression of frustration and resignation, which seeks to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it,” the Pope said April 15 of this year. “Yes, we risk taking a step backwards. The removal of (sexual) difference in fact creates a problem, not a solution.”

The Holy Father’s concern is shared by bishops at the synod.

The small group known as “French B” noted in its first report that “a wide discussion within our group focused on gender theory. In particular, it was underlined that gender theory has the character of an ideology when it is spread, or better imposed, by some international organizations.”

The group referred to pressure exerted by some international bodies, making financial aid dependent on the adoption of regulations based on gender ideology. This phenomenon has been denounced by numerous African prelates during the Synod.

However, concerns about gender ideology were not limited to the prelates from Africa. In Italy, bishops have been constantly fighting over the past year against attempts to introduce textbooks into the nation’s schools that present gender theory as a fact.

It was no surprise, therefore, that the issue was also raised in two Italian small groups.

“For what concerns the anthropological and cultural context, it seemed necessary (that the synod text) would more widely refer to the risks of gender ideology, as well to the negative influence it has on scholastic programs of many countries,” said small group “Italian A.”

Small group “Italian B” presented a specific amendment on the issue, saying, “The group more clearly emphasized the ideological character of gender ideology, in order to lend families a hand so that they can take back their original right to educate children in a responsible dialogue with other educative agencies.”

Meanwhile, the group “English D” lamented that “there were a number of elements missing” from the working document, including “a serious reflection on gender ideology.”

And the “Spanish B” group mentioned the challenge of gender ideology among “the ongoing anthropological changes,” that are “deeper than what we can imagine.”

Also delving into the issue was the group “French C,” which underscored gender ideology as one of its top two concerns.

“We are concerned by the uprise of a new ideology that is often called gender ideology,” the group stressed.

It said that “several gender theories have been developed in sociology and philosophy, with the attempt to analyze some human and social phenomenon.” But “when these theories are taken as an absolute, they tend to create a unique thought that aims to sweep away everything else.”

“While (these theories) try to impose a view that denies the relation between sexual identity and the sex of individuals as we are, they dissolve families, parenthood, human love in its more noble and humanizing part,” the group concluded.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


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