(from Tony Rossi of The Christophers)
Today we ask You to bless our earthly fathers
for the many times they reflected the love, strength, generosity, wisdom, and mercy that You exemplify in Your relationship with us, Your children.
We honor our fathers for putting our needs above their own convenience and comfort;
for teaching us to show courage and determination in the face of adversity;
for challenging us to move beyond self-limiting boundaries;
for modeling the qualities that would turn us into responsible, principled, caring adults.
Not all our fathers lived up to these ideals.
Give them the grace to acknowledge and learn from their mistakes.
Give us the grace to extend to them the same forgiveness that You offer us all.
Help us to resist the urge to stay stuck in past bitterness,
instead moving forward with humility and peace of heart.
We ask Your blessing on those men who served
as father figures in our lives
when our biological fathers weren’t able to do so.
May the love and selflessness they showed us
be returned to them in all their relationships,
and help them to know that their influence
has changed us for the better.
Give new and future fathers the guidance they need
to raise happy and holy children,
grounded in a love for God and other people—
and remind these fathers that treating their wives
with dignity, compassion, and respect
is one of the greatest gifts they can give their children.
We pray that our fathers who have passed into the next life
have been welcomed into Your loving embrace,
and that our family will one day be reunited in Your heavenly kingdom.
In union with St. Joseph,
whom You entrusted with Your Son,
we ask Your generous blessings today and every day.