Seeds of Truth Ministries

Joseph Hollcraft

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The Son Becomes the Father and the Father Becomes the Son

In June of 2006 my wife and I went to the theatre to watch Superman Returns. As usual, I did not leave disappointed: from the imaginative cinematography to the engaging storylines, the movie moved swiftly along, but it was one encounter that had the hair on my skin stand up. After Superman was made aware he had a son, he went to visit him while he was sleeping. As Superman looked upon his son in the middle of the night, he said:

"You will be different, sometimes you'll feel like an outcast, but you'll never be alone. You will make my strength your own. You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father and the father becomes the son."

These words are about family legacy, and Superman is passing on his most important lesson to his son, Jason.  It was the last line that pierced my heart: “The son becomes the father and the father becomes the son.” It’s as if he is saying, “by virtue of becoming a father, I better know what it means to be a son.” This was a weighty truth for me in 2006.

In June of 2006 my wife was 6 months pregnant with our first son Kolbe. At this time, I was trying to make sense of my new feelings. Upon hearing Superman’s words: “The son becomes the father and the father becomes the son,” it suddenly dawned on me: In becoming a father, over time, I will better understand what it means to be a son to God the Father.

Thirteen years and four kids later, Superman’s words have been like a prism for me to better understand who I am as a child of God. Four of the five most joyful days in my life were the births of my four children (the other day being my wedding day). Just as I rejoice, God the father rejoices in baptism and our spiritual birth.

As a father, the joy I receive in being with my kids is not always in what we are doing, but that I am doing it with them. Just as I revel in spending time with my kids, so does God desire we spend time with Him—that we involve Him in everything we do.

As a father, I sometimes say “no” or “not yet” to my children because in my “no” there is an immeasurable greater yes to their health and spiritual well-being. The closer my children are with me the greater they will understand the “why” behind my “no” or “not yet.” In our prayer life, God sometimes says “no” or not yet” to us as His children because in His “no” there is the greatest “yes” to our health and spiritual well-being. The closer we are to God the greater we will understand God’s response to our prayer.

As a father, my heart is always deeply moved when my children say, “Thank you.” Just as my heart is moved by my children’s gratitude, so is the heart of God the Father moved when we say: “thank you” for his many blessings.

These are just a few examples of how I have begun to see the spiritual life of God’s fatherhood through the eyes of my biological fatherhood. Indeed, what pierced my heart thirteen years ago has become my interpretive key to better understand God calling me "son" – for in becoming a father, I have become a better son (by the grace of God, go I).

View Dr. Hollcraft's author profile on Amazon
Unleashing the Power of Intercessory Prayer - Book Cover

“Hollcraft's book engagingly integrates his personal experience with the luminous witness of Scripture and the overflowing holiness of the saints to help you maximize the effectiveness of your intercessory prayer.”
Bishop Liam Cary
Diocese of Baker, Oregon

“With this book, Hollcraft opens the door to the humble act of praying for others and invites us, through practical and accessible tips, to step through that door with trust.”
Dr. Anthony Lilles
Author and Academic Dean of Saint Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park (CA)

"As I read through these pages, I am reminded of our beautiful calling to pray for others, and Dr. Hollcraft explains here how to do so in deepest intimacy with Jesus Christ!"
Fr. Dave Pivonka T.O.R.
President of Franciscan University of Steubenville

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A Heart for Evangelizing - Book Cover

“Evangelization is never about numbers, and never about programs. It’s one heart setting another on fire. With this book, Dr. Hollcraft helps us keep the home fires burning—even as we set the world ablaze with Christ.”
Mike Aquilina
Award-winning author of more than 40 popular books

“Hollcraft wonderfully displays the tapestry of Catholic life and evangelization by weaving solid Catholic teaching, its application to the modern world, and clearly expressed examples that bring out the light and shadows of this beautiful picture.”
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
Author, television host, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center
for Biblical Theology

"In a world of burgeoning textbooks and media, the reminder that  catechesis is inescapably a personal task to which we are all called, through a cooperation with the redeeming and educative work of the Person of the Holy Trinity, is a timely and important one."
Dr. Petroc Willey
Professor of Catechetics, Franciscan University of Steubenville

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