Dads urged: End passivity, lead your families to Mary

Dads urged: End passivity, lead your families to Mary
A family prays in one of the churches in Manila during Holy Week. RAYMOND BANDRIL

PASAY City – Are women still the acknowledged spiritual leaders of their homes?

For many, the answer is yes, and this has got to change, said theology professor Dr. Peter Howard at the National Marian Congress on the Centennial of the Apparitions of Fatima at the SMX Convention Center on Saturday, July 8.

“…We have no more excuses. We, men, are going to lead our families to the Immaculate Heart of Mary…We are going to be, if necessary, on the cross with Christ,” he told more than a thousand delegates from trans-parochial communities, Marian movements, and lay organizations.

Modern-day Noahs

Howard said there is an urgent need for fathers to become modern-day “Noahs”, who will lead their families into the safe ark of the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Heart.

According to the Marian theologian and lay speaker, for too long women have become “the warriors of today”, which is a “good thing,” but women’s spiritual and moral ascendancy has taken place only because of men’s passivity.

“[Our Lady is] saying consecration is to be lived first and foremost in your family, not just in the mother, not just in the wife. … We, men, have stepped aside. We’ve started to live vicariously through our wives,” he stressed.

This laxity, said Howard, can be traced back to the fall of Adam and Eve, where Adam did nothing to protect his wife and watched her commit the first sin.

“She’s having a conversation with the devil… He was standing right there. He did nothing! Can you imagine that? Your wife being threatened…with losing everything, salvation, communion with God. ‘What you gonna answer, honey?’ He didn’t even say that,” he added.

War on families

According to Howard, original sin disfigured “what it meant to be a man, what it meant to be a woman.”

Things are changing, however, and men are called to respond to a quickly deteriorating moral and spiritual climate, he said.

“We’re in the midst of a global revolution taking place. There is a war on our families,” he said, mentioning the controversial case of 10-month old Charlie Gard of the U.K. whom British courts have denied further medical treatment because of a terminal physical condition, thereby, usurping parental rights. “This speaks to something much deeper, something that goes to the heart of our times.”

Devotion to Immaculate Heart, said Howard, will be families’ refuge and will lead them back to God. “…That’s the essence of the consecration.”

The congress was organized to celebrate the centenary of Our Lady’s apparitions to the three child-seers of Fatima, Portugal in 1917. CBCPNews