As Franciscans, we marvel at the wonders of God’s creation: the earth and all that dwells within it, but also the universe with its countless planets, suns, moons and constellations.
Myths from all over the world have both a mother and a father figure in them. The mother is usually the Earth and the father the Sky or Universe. The Greek creation myth told of the goddess, Gaia, and the god, Uranus, who fell in love; Gaia was the earth and Uranus was the sky. Similar creation myths can be found in most ancient cultures.
Closer to home, the central spiritual beliefs of the Anishinabe people, a group of culturally related Indigenous people resident in what is now called Canada and the United States, can be summed up as follows; respect for self, respect for others, respect for Mother Earth and respect for Father Sky, the Great Spirit and the Universe (Excerpt from First Nations Pedagogy website, June Kaminski). It is also worth noting that the Medicine Wheel, used by generations of native people, embodies the Four Directions, as well as Father Sky, Mother Earth, and Spirit Tree, all of which symbolize dimensions of health and the cycles of life.
Note how there is distinctive room for both Mother Earth and Father Sky in these ancient creation myths and indigenous spirituality. While Western culture has tended to acknowledge Mother Earth, less attention has often been paid to Father Sky. The face of God can clearly be seen in both Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Happy Father’s Day to all the special fathers in our fraternity. May you have a wonderful celebration of your giftedness. We are all most grateful for the gift of fatherhood.