Paternity and non-paternal states of life


#1

I’ve long wondered how we should take St John Paul’s call of all men to spiritual paternity as it applies to religious brothers, deacons, unmarried laymen–in short, any of those states of life in which men can exist other than those who are often called fathers (priests and married laymen). Those former are not necessarily persons in authority, and consequently often won’t be seen as necessarily authoritative, unless nature, grace, or effort give them a natural authoritativeness in some field or another. Or perhaps I am diminishing paternity by seeing authority as one of its chief attributes? Do correct me if you think I am wrong…


#2

I, for one, see myself as a paternal authority
at this CAForums, I see some of the other
members as my spiritual “children”, praise
God, who anointed me esp. for this task!!


#3

OK, GLam. But you still leave me asking, what is paternity then? Does it have something to do with authority or is it something completely different? And how is a man who is not a priest or the father of a family live that out?


#4

Priests are celibate for a reason, they
can give themselves wholeheartedly to
those most in need in their parishes,
something a married man cannot do
b/c he is bound by his marriage vows
to look after his wife first and then his
children. Those who for the kingdom
of God are eunuchs can give them-
selves wholeheartedly to helping
“spiritual progeny” in their needs!!


#5

If you can’t answer, GLam, that’s alright, but the big question still isn’t addressed here: “[W]hat is paternity then? Does it have something to do with authority or is it something completely different? And how is a man who is not a priest or the father of a family live that out?”

So understand that I’m not asking about priests or natural fathers here, but rather about “religious brothers, deacons, unmarried laymen–in short, any of those states of life in which men can exist other than those who are often called fathers (priests and married laymen).”


#6

You can give out only what you yourself
have attained, so we, who have been given
paternal authority need to be FILLED with
the Spirit in order to meet the needs of our
“spiritual children”, it gives us incentive to
ADVANCE in our walk w/ God!!


#7

Anyone else?


#8

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