DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     July 30 - August 1, 1999     vol. 10, no. 142


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      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

      Today Sister reminds us in her column Abba! Daddy! Who God the Father is. He is our Father, our "Abba"...our "Daddy." The latter term is an affectionate moniker for one who takes care of us as the head of the house. In fact, it is probably the most of affectionate terms for a father. Who could be more affectionate than the One Who created us? That alone is the epitome of affection. Therefore, Sister encourages us to not be afraid to call Him "Daddy" for it is in no way disrespectful but truly from the heart. The more we do this, the more we will remember the Father and call upon Him in this Year of the Father. Too often He is neglected in favor of the Son and the Holy Spirit, but He is just as essential as the first of the Three Persons of the Trinity Whom Jesus always talked about in referring to His Father - "Abba" which translated today means "Dad" or "Daddy."

      Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy @aol.com by e-mail.


        In Scripture Jesus calls His Father, “Abba!” Scholars inform us that this word is translated as a familiar term. We would say: “Daddy!” or “Papa!” At first hearing, many of us might be a bit repulsed with the idea of calling God the Father, “Daddy!” It seems too familiar, not “respectful” enough.

        Most of us have had the experience of a young child, upon seeing his father come home from work, being so happy to see him, he stops what he’s doing and runs to greet his father with great glee. “DADDY!” he shouts.

        No one is offended with that action. Actually, we are touched with the beauty of the childlike love and joy. Certainly, none of us would say that the child is being disrespectful. The child’s heart is filled with great love and joy in knowing that his “daddy” is home. Of course, “daddy” is a familiar term. But in our human experience, it is not a disrespectful term.

        Many people think of God as being “way out there” somewhere. He is so great that the distance between Him and us is infinitely wide. But God has shown us throughout Salvation History that He does not want to be a God that is distant from us. Throughout the Old Testament God walked and spoke to people. In the New Testament, Jesus, the Son of God walked this earth for 33 years to show us how to live and love. On the cross His Supreme Sacrifice was made that we would spend eternity with Him. The reality is that God DOES want us to be familiar with Him. That is, He wants us to know that He is close. He wants us to know that He hears every heartbeat of ours and every whisper of our lips.

        He wants us to know that He is not a DISTANT God. He has more care and love for us than all of our friends put together. He wants us to talk to Him as we would our very best friend ... sweetly, confidently, warmly, and yes, familiarly. He would say: “I want you to be familiar with Me, but remember that I am God.”

        It is possible to have a respectful familiarity with God. Like the child who calls out “Daddy!”

        In this year of God, the Father, as proclaimed by Our Holy Father, let’s more frequently call God “Abba!” “Daddy!” It’s OK! It may take some getting used to, but it is all right, if you mix it with love and respect.

        We don’t think enough about God, the Father. We don’t talk to Him enough or give Him enough credit for being so close and loving with us. Jesus never did anything that He would not welcome us to imitate. So when He called His Father, “Abba!” ... “Daddy!” He was giving us an example that we may do likewise.

        So may God, our Father, our Heavenly Daddy bless you and yours.

July 30 - August 1, 1999       volume 10, no. 142


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