Icon of the Father

toybird-michaelobrien“…the crisis of fatherhood, in its many forms, is at the root of most disorders in this late stage of Western civilization. And the root is intimately connected to the loss of our consciousness of the hierarchical nature of the created order. Large numbers of people not only seem unable to believe in God, but also cannot conceptualize Him in their thoughts and their hearts. The icon in the heart—the icon of fatherhood—is either damaged or absent entirely. Sin and error have contributed to this, and also two major world wars and the loss of millions of good men on all sides, as well as the social and sexual revolutions of the 1960’s onwards, and the rise of powerful modern media as the principle shaper of both consciousness and conscience—as Pope Benedict has called it, the “dictatorship of moral relativism.” Man has placed himself in the role of master and creator of his world, in his personal life and his societies, without reference to the actual moral order of the real universe. There is a radical disconnect not only in his thinking but in his perceptions of reality itself.

This creates an interior void which becomes evident in his psychology, his emotional life, his intellect, his spirituality, his cultural expressions. The consequences are more than “mere” abstractions, because all of these dimensions of the human person express themselves in acts. 

The development of an authentic civilization of love will begin when man turns again toward the truth that the cosmos, in descending order from the angelic dimension through humanity and down into the subatomic level, is a hierarchy, over which reigns the Holy Trinity. If we would learn again how to be true fathers, then we must turn to God the Father and ask him for this desperately needed grace, for he is the source of all subsidiary fatherhood manifested in human life, including fatherhood in family, in priestly ministry, and also in other forms of spiritual fatherhood.”

From an interview with artist and novelist Michael O’Brien by Fabrizio Rossi in Italian newspaper Avvenire. (Image: Toy Bird by Michael O’Brien studiobrien.com)

Share Button

Comments are closed.