“Theology” is the study of the nature of God. Being a parent has really helped me understand God’s nature more. I’ve been compiling these personal anecdotes for a while and I’m afraid I’ll forget them if I don’t put it down on paper. So, here are a few observations I’d like to share with you under this category:
- When Maya was born, my heart was so full of love I felt like it was going to explode. I had so many dreams for her, of what she can do, who she can become. As I dream for my daughter, so God dreams for me. He, too, has dreams of what I can do and who I can become.
- My wife and I love each other so much that another person was born from this love. God the Father and God the Son love each other so much, so perfectly, from eternity, that another Person results: the Holy Spirit. Just as the Holy Spirit goes forth to help others enter the Kingdom, my wife and I will be raising our daughters so that they can grow up and help others enter God’s Kingdom.
- I tell my daughters “I love you” all the time. When they were babies, they didn’t understand the words. As their father, I yearn to hear them say “I love you” back to me one day. God has this same hope for me, too. He also wants me to turn to Him and say “I love you” and mean it.
- My children learn to repeat “I love you, daddy” from their mother. Christians learn to pray (“I love you, Abba”) from their Mother Church. My children will one day contemplate the love they have for their father (and mother) in their hearts and this will guide how they will act. When I start to contemplate the love I have for God, I am moved towards acts of virtue and away from vices. I am moved to patiently suffer trials for the love of God.
- My children do not need to give my wife and I anything because we are complete with each other and in God. However, Maya and Hana can show their love for their parents by loving one another as sisters. If they take care of one another, protect one another, and help each other grow, then we will know that they love us. In the same way, I love God by loving my fellow human beings, who are my brothers & sisters in Christ (whether they know it or not).
- This was true when Maya was a baby and true of Hana now when she is still a baby: sometimes I love them so much I feel like I want to eat them. It’s a bizarre feeling. Not like a cannibal. I don’t want to cook them up or anything. I just have this overwhelming desire to consume them out of love. During this Christmas season, I was struck by the thought of Baby Jesus and the Eucharist. Why can’t I desire to literally eat the Eucharist as I desire to figuratively eat my own babies?
- Hana does this endearing act: every time I sit cross-legged on the floor, she would drop whatever she’s doing to crawl over and sit on my lap. She would only crawl away to get a toy and then come back and just sit on my lap. She likes being near me and the simple joy of being in the arms of her father. This made me think about the contemplative life. When I think about the mysteries of God (i.e. Joyful, Sorrowful, Luminous, Glorious, etc.), am I not like Hana sitting in the lap of my father? Rather than rushing through my prayers, do I instead take the time to enjoy being in the lap of His presence as my daughter is in mine?