Gaining Fatherly Wisdom from the Blessed Mother

Thomas Griffin 10/14/22 (For Busted Halo)

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“Growing up, I was not always convinced that Mary was relevant to my life. I never had tangible experience of her spiritual influence. But becoming a father to my first child, Benedict, radically altered my view of the Blessed Mother. 

Mothers are often called upon to do more for their children, but I quickly saw that I was being invited to be powerfully present to my son, like Mary. Her life revolved around Jesus, and I saw a similar change occurring in my life as a new dad. This sparked my heart into seeing that being a normal or ordinary dad made me similar to Mary, and could also make me a dad that had a huge impact on his son. 

So many parents have the experience of taking care of their children, like Mary and Joseph, that it may seem there is nothing that special about it, or so we think. We can too easily convince ourselves that being ordinary makes us unworthy of Mary’s love or unable to relate to her. Now, there is an aspect about Mary that is radically different from me (and everyone else): She was free from original sin and I am not. She was the only person, besides Jesus himself, to never sin. That is a big deal and that means she is playing the game of life on a whole different level.

That being said, changing diapers and playing on the floor with my son, along with being on his timetable with whatever he needs as an infant, helps me realize that parenthood makes me more vulnerable. When I embrace the totality of what it means to take care of my offspring, I become like Mary and realize that I need her help in being the best dad that I can be.”

Thomas Griffin is the chairperson of the religion department at a Catholic high school on Long Island where he lives with his wife and son. He has a masters degree in theology and is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Empty Tomb Project: The Magazine. He writes for several media outlets.

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