Fathers Floreat!

DaneBairdFFADane Baird

My blog “Father's Floreat”

Dane Baird has been a witness member of the Home of the Mother for 3 years. He has two daughters, Jean and Susannah. The newest addition to the family is Halo, wonder-dog! His profession is teaching autistic children and he enjoys acting in several parish and diocesan ministries, as well as supporting the Home of the Mother.

His blog is called "Fathers Floreat!" Floreat is a word he heard on retreat, it is latin for to flourish, to bloom. Men should be blossoming according to God's plan.

Saturday, 09 November 2019 01:50

Remembering God

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Possible solutions to my forgetting the Creator:

1) Many prayer prompts. Ok, so, I am distracted, confused, and in need of redirection. How about some prayer prompts? Why? Because how can I love someone I

do not know? I need to become a great communicator with the Divine. This means a continual conversation, a continual prayer with my Maker. It is then, that, with time, the great relationship

starts unfolding, offering me the opportunity to glimpse and experience God’s sacred love for me and the whole world. So, what about some prayer prompts to keep reminding me to do

what is the most important activity of my life, a life full of prayer? 

Tuesday, 05 November 2019 17:20

Forgetting God

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Many times, each day, I need help. After all, many times, I am a lukewarm, despondent Catholic. It just happens, especially when I forget. I forget God, His love for me, His blessings, and I forget to spend time with Him. I forget to be charitable, kind,and patient. And, unfortunately, in my forgetful state, I become very ‘at risk.’ I am more likely to sin. My sins are varied and numerous. I am at risk, in this state of forgetfulness, because each moment, absent from God, the near occasion of sin is much more likely to become real mortal or venial sin. I become more and more distant from the God-source. I am becoming loveless.

Not good. 

The fix to this, for me, is simple. To become vivified, to resurrect from my sorry state, I begin to remember again. I remember His love, His sacrifice, my relationship with Him, and I remember how this relationship is my defining relationship, the purpose of my life. 

If I can get this relationship right, I will be on the path to sanctity. All my other relationships will fall into order and become enlightened with His love. This is not to say the challenges dissipate. No, they are always present. But my responses to them are transfigured by God. I know what to do because I know something about our Lord, something about His love. 

And all my sins, no matter how numerous, dark, and mistaken, will always be overcome by Divine Mercy, if I simply ask for it, with a contrite heart. 

But the key to continue obtaining this mercy and sanctifying grace is to, again, to remember our Lord’s love for me as quickly as possible.  

Lord, how do I awaken out of my forgetfulness and enter Your Sacred Heart? 

Before postulating an answer, I think I need to communicate a dose of my reality. Let’s be real. Today’s environment is so very distracting. How on earth can I focus on what is good, remembering the Lord’s love for me again, when so very distracted? 

Here are just a few, possible real distractions:

- As a man, I might be working a lot. At some juncture, I might have decided that my family needs certain material support, some type of material ‘non-negotiables.’ I tell myself in order for my wife and children to be happy, they ‘need’ a 3500 square foot house and endless consumer products, such as designer shoes and branded shirts and blouses. All of these supposed needs keep me working a lot, so I can pay for my many debts. In this reality, I have little time for the Lord as I have made a self-defined, culturally defined lifestyle my god.

- Or, I’m addicted. I have a smartphone and like all the instant gratification, all the visuals that my ‘connectedness’ offers me. These visuals are pleasurable and make me smile. But, often enough, these visuals are not God-centric, and they consume lots of time and distract me from prayer time. I distance myself from God and His wisdom by spending too much time on personal technology. 

- Or, I never received good formation: “I don’t know what a man is, according to God’s plan, because I sort of pay attention at Mass, but not really. After all, I’m really a minimalist, where I invest minimal attention to God’s words. As a result, I don’t know Jesus, His strength upon the cross. I don’t understand holy manhood. Maybe, I have become an unknowing feminist, too. At some level, I believe that men and women are the same, or, that a woman is able to be both father and mother and there’s no need for men anymore.” The culture, instead of the Catechism, instead of the Bible, instead of the sacraments, is my life’s template. 

I believe I know a priest that, if reading the above self-description, would call me a ‘neo-pagan,’ which is making my immediate surroundings my gods, with little to no attention for the true God.

Again, I am distracted and possibly very confused because I believe what the culture believes and I do what the culture does. I am totally at risk of losing God and access to the pearly gates of heaven.

Lord, help me to remember You, please. 

Thursday, 11 April 2019 19:03

Choices

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Some time ago, I found myself in the military. At times, it just seems surreal that I was in the military at all. After all, truthfully, weapons make me a bit nervous. But there I was, in training, in a hot and muggy place called Ft. Benning. At certain times, the training tempo called for night maneuvers, which gave further occasion to feel a bit nervous. Why? There’s no light! Even with moonlight, in the thick of the woods, it’s completely dark. And in the darkness, there are plenty of opportunities to trip up, to tumble down, to fall and get lost. 

Friday, 01 March 2019 17:17

Yes, I believe

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I know a wise woman; I believe her to be wise for many reasons. Her faith insures that at least some part of her day is dedicated to prayer. She’s a daily Rosary lady, reads scripture and tries, whenever possible, to open herself up to divine beauty. So when I talk to this woman of faith with such daily practices, I am more likely to glean some wisdom from her words, or from observing her actions.

Friday, 15 February 2019 11:55

Battle Readiness

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I kept turning to the same page in what seemed a random occurrence. Have you ever played Bible Roulette? Just open and start reading. I was doing the same with Mary of Agreda’s City of God, i.e., her visions regarding Jesus’ public ministry and His mother’s instrumental role in supporting Her Son in the Father’s great effort to redeem souls

Thursday, 06 December 2018 12:09

Being Truly Present

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Jesus’ public ministry was a ministry of presence. Being present to His apostles. Being present to married couples, the poor and all sinners. He was present, challenging the Pharisees on their contrived piety and endless rules that might never convert their own hearts to His Father. When He was alone, He was praying, so, again, He was fully present. He was present, this time, to the empowering Father, someone who could renew our Lord’s spirit and body as He martialed on in his mission of the salvation of souls. This was a God of presence, being present.

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