by Michael Ketterhagen
This Father’s Day, this past week, pushed me to reflect on what it means to be a Father.
What does it mean to be a father especially in a culture and at a time in the existence of the planet that needs so much nurturing, so much supporting, so much gentleness. Those are not necessarily adjectives that we humans who want to be fathers use.
Traditionally, the masculine energy of fathering focuses on creation, on doing things, on making decisions, on making things happen and then protecting that creation and providing for it. The masculine energy is the warrior energy of the human being. In that context, the masculine energy is all about doing what it thinks is the best for one’s family or those in need, or those in danger and those who are weaker than the nurturing, passive feminine energy.
The feminist culture of our world today criticizes this aggressive/assertive world of the masculine culture and labels that lifestyle response as patriarchal. But the criticism focuses mainly on the negative dimensions of masculine energy, to which most male humans identify. After all, it is mainly men who are making the decisions of our modern world.
Men are mostly in charge of the many decisions that have been made that affect our life on Earth. They have used their strength and power to control, overpower, and decide on the highest good for themselves and those in their particular caste, class or race, rather than the entire human race, or for that matter all of life. An example is the human decision to remove the top of a mountain to get at the coal there.
Because of the support and emphasis on the negative dimensions of the masculine energetics, patriarchy (fatherhood/manliness) has gotten a bad reputation. Patriarchy is not the problem, but focusing on the negative aspects of patriarchy is the problem.
Males, in particular, must make (as our current president is beginning to do) protective and nurturing decisions. The masculine energy of Life is embodied in all humans, but especially in the males who are concerned more with the fear of fulfilling their own needs rather than those of the collective or common good.
Fathering, today in particular, means protecting the vulnerable, providing for those who are not able to provide for themselves, making sure that the entire “tribe” is at peace with all the other “tribes.”
It is the responsibility of all us Fathers to act as “compassionately as our heavenly Father” (Luke 6:36). That means us Fathers must DECIDE to be protective in a nurturing, loving way, not a violent, vindictive or fearful way.
It means Fathers must act more like our Heavenly Mother. Fathers must decide to nurture, heal, and make the world a safer place in which all can live happily and peacefully. Fathers must decide to protect the EARTH from harmful fossil fuel usage. Fathers must decide to provide for those in need, not just those in higher tax brackets. Fathers must sacrifice like the Divine Mother sacrifices, compassionately.
Then, we will truly understand the role of patriarchy in our planet and the major importance of realizing that God is not only a demanding and fearful taskmaster of truth, but also a loving, nurturing provider and a protector of all that the Divine Mother nourishes.
This is the true nature of the human Father and the true nature of God, the Father. God is both masculine and feminine—compassionate and loving.
Alleluia! For Fathers!