Goals

 

  • Individual consecration of all human persons to God the Father.
  • Collective consecration of human communities to God the Father.
  • Celebration of the Feast of Abba Our Father, the Father of All Humanity, on the first Sunday of every August.
  • Continuous growth in our personal knowledge and love of God the Father.
  • Propagation of the knowledge and love of God the Father.
  • Christian ecumenical outreach in knowing, praising, honoring, thanking, and loving God the Father.
  • Inter-religious outreach in knowing, praising, honoring, thanking, and loving God the Father.
  • Civic outreach in knowing, praising, honoring, thanking, and loving God the Father.

 

 

Structure

 

DeoSpace.com, the social network hub of Abba, Our Father, was first set up in 2013. Chapters of Abba, Our Father, are being set up across the world. The governance of the organization and of each chapter follows the bylaws of Abba, Our Father. The reporting structure of the organization starts with the individual chapter that then reports to a local council. The structure then ascends to a regional council, a national council, a global council and finally the Board of Trustees. All council officers are elected. The Board of Trustees is guided by Lay Advisors and Spiritual and Ecclesial Advisors.

 

Governance Structure of Abba, Our Father, Father of All Humanity

 

Abba, Our Father, Spiritual and Ecclesial Advisors

Abba, Our Father, Lay Advisors

Abba, Our Father, Board of Trustees

Abba, Our Father, Global Council

Abba, Our Father, National Council

Abba, Our Father, Regional Council

Abba, Our Father, Local Council

Abba, Our Father, Individual chapter

 

 

Membership

 

Membership in the Abba, Our Father, organization is open to all who have a desire to honor, know and love God the Father; who share the goals of the Abba, Our Father, organization listed above; who will not contradict the Trinitarian creeds of the seven Ecumenical Councils of the Christian Church; and who will abide by the bylaws and governance structure of the Abba, Our Father, organization (see link).

 

You can “sign up” to join the Abba Our Father movement at www.DeoSpace.com and then set up or join a local chapter. Here you can also download (free) a copy of Daddy We Never Knew You, a book on the Father.

 

 

Structure of Chapter Meetings

The Lord’s Prayer (“Our Father”)

Review of the Goals of Abba, Our Father

Reports of Members

Reflections on the Father from books or other sources

A Prayer to the Father

Reading of a report from the Global Council

Discussion of near-term and long-term plans

Consecration prayer

 

 

Feast Day

 

The famous preacher Raniero Cantalamessa rightly said, “It’s sad that in the whole liturgical year there isn’t a feast dedicated to the Father. There are many feasts dedicated to Jesus the Son; there is a feast of the Holy Spirit. There isn’t a single feast dedicated to the Father, “source and origin of all divinity”.1

 

Why is a feast so important?  As Cantalamessa says, “feasts are the highest and most solemn form of proclaiming one’s faith, because all people participate in it unanimously.”2

 

The theologian Jean Galot said: “The new worship which Jesus began consists of adoring the Father: and yet there is no day in which this adoration is directed more particularly to the person of the Father.”3

 

The global movement Abba Our Father exists to proclaim and propagate the celebration of an annual feast day to honor the God the Father of humankind. The celebration will be held on the first Sunday of every August.

 

It is a festival that celebrates the Father’s relationship to us and his acts on our behalf.  Christmas is a commemorative feast day that celebrates the coming of the Son while Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Spirit. A feast for the Father of humankind commemorates the Father’s acts of loving us (“for God so loved the world”) by creating us and then sending us his Son and his Spirit.

 

How did Christians go about “instituting” a Feast? In most cases, it originated as a movement of the faithful. Christmas was first celebrated by groups of Christians during the reign of Constantine in Rome from 336 A.D. Different regions of the world began celebrating the feast in different eras. Pentecost was a Jewish harvest feast held on the fiftieth day after Passover. It was during this feast that the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and other disciples.

 

August, the Eighth Month, is the appropriate month for celebrating the Feast of God the Father given the significance of “eight” in the Bible. And the first Sunday of August would be the appropriate day since this is a celebration to accompany our Sabbath worship.

 

“Eight” is appropriate because, as is well known, the eighth day was the day ordained for sacred feasts in the Old Testament. This continued in the New Testament even with the institution of the Sabbath on “Sunday.”

 

The Jewish feast of Booths/Tabernacles was held on the eighth day:

“For seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD, and on the eighth day you will have a declared holy day. You shall offer an oblation to the LORD. It is the festival closing. You shall do no heavy work. ” Leviticus 23:36

“On the eighth day you will hold a public assembly: you shall do no heavy work. ”

Numbers 29:35

The Jewish purification ritual was on the eighth day

“On the eighth day the individual shall take two unblemished male lambs. ” Leviticus 14:10

The feast of the Dedication of the Temple was also on the eighth day.

“On this occasion Solomon and with him all Israel, a great assembly from Lebo-hamath to the Wadi of Egypt, celebrated the festival for seven days. On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the feast for seven days. ” 2 Chronicles 7:8-9

In Ezekiel’s vision of the future, we see,

“And when these days are over, from the eighth day on, the priests shall sacrifice your burnt offerings and communion offerings on the altar. Then I will be pleased with you.” Ezekiel 43:27.

 

Christians as different as St. Augustine and John Calvin have commented on the importance of eight in the life of Jesus:

 

[Jesus] “brought it about that His body rested from all its works on Sabbath in the tomb, and that His resurrection on the third day, which we call the Lord’s day, the day after the Sabbath, and therefore the eighth, proved the circumcision of the eighth day to be also prophetical of Him.” 4  

“It is probable and consonant with reason, that the number seven designated the course of the present life. Therefore the eighth day might seem to be fixed upon by the Lord, to prefigure the beginning of a new life.”5 John Calvin 

 

Jesus revealed his own consecration to the Father during the Jewish eight day feast of Dedication.

 

Like Christmas and Pentecost, the feast of the Father is a cause that should unite Christians of every denomination.

 

Galot says,

Instituting a feast in honor of God our Father would certainly be a step in the direction of the reunion of Christians. This unifying role is at the heart of our veneration of God our Father: Christians cannot pray to their heavenly Father without by that very fact being more closely united among themselves of the same spiritual family. The feast would be a symbol of Christian unity and a powerful impetus toward reconciliation.6

 

Cantalamessa adds, 

Christians would certainly give great joy to the risen Lord if they were able to accomplish this project “ecumenically”, that is, reaching an agreement with all the Churches who accept it in order to celebrate, with one accord, the feast of the Father on the same day.7

 

 

Consecration

 

The feast of Abba, Our Father, the Father of all Humanity is just a starting point. We need to have a living awareness of the Father and consecrate ourselves to Him.

 

The whole Bible is a story of humanity turning away from the Father and then returning to Him. The Father seeks us out through the patriarchs and the prophets, the apostles and the evangelists, and ultimately through the Son and the Spirit. The fundamental theme is the Father’s love for us. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

 

Jesus came so that we might know the Father, come to the Father and become children of the Father.

“No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” Matthew 11:27

“No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6 

“That you may be children of your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:45

 

It is through the Holy Spirit that we become children of Abba our Father:

“As proof that you are children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” Galatians 4:6. 

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. … You received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” Romans 8:14-15

 

The Father cannot be considered other than in relation to Son and Spirit.  From all eternity, the Father gives all he is to the Son, the Son receives all he is from the Father and their common love “breathes” forth the Spirit. 

 

We are all called to consecrate ourselves to the Father as Jesus himself did and asks us to do.

“I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth … so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” John 17:19, 21

 

The consecration bears endless fruit in graces and blessings to individuals and communities.

“If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:7-11)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world.” (Ephesians 1:3)

“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.” (1 John 3:1). 

 

The consecration to the Father is something we must make personally and collectively. Ideally, we should make a collective consecration on a day set aside for this. Hence we have the feast day of Abba, Our Father, the Father of Humanity.

 

Galot reminds us of the importance of celebrating the Feast:

The Father intervened with His supreme initiative in all the events of the saving work and He cannot be considered extraneous to the fulfilment of His divine plan of humanity’s redemption. He is also the first promoter of the entire liturgy. Precisely, because He is the initiator of all the work of salvation and the ultimate end of the journey of redeemed humanity, the Father should be celebrated. The liturgy must follow the essential movement which characterizes the journey and the worship of Christ, which goes from the Father to the Father.8

 

Each year members will celebrate the Feast of the Father on the first Sunday in August with a collective act of consecration. Ideally they can also celebrate the feast at their places of worship.

 

The act of consecration can be as simply as saying and living “Abba Father, I give myself to you totally and forever through your Son and in your Spirit.”

Our consecration will be more meaningful if we prepare for it before over a period of time meditating on humanity’s history of leaving and returning to the Father and our own life experience of turning away from the Father and then coming back. The milestones in this journey of leaving and return are:

  • the breach between God and humankind at the dawn of history;
  • the Father’s outreach to us through the people of Israel;
  • the Yes of Mary to the Father’s invitation delivered by the Archangel Gabriel;
  • the subsequent incarnation of the only Son and his Yes to the Father;
  • the sending of the Holy Spirit;
  • our own personal journey to the Father made possible by the redemptive death of his Son;
  • our Yes to our Abba Father through the indwelling of the Spirit;
  • the climax of our earthly journey in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

 

We should meditate on each of these milestones and then make our surrender and consecration to our Father.

 

“Abba Father, I give myself to you totally and forever through your Son and in your Spirit.”

 

With the worldwide continual consecration to God the Father of Humankind, we would be knowing, honoring and loving the Father who loved us into being and seeks nothing but our joy.

 

It would be the hour of which Jesus spoke:

“The hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.” John 4:23

 

We will be making an enduring contribution to the divine plan for humankind. We will be playing our part in salvation history.

 

The first Christian millennium was a time when we deepened our knowledge of the Son. In the second millennium we came to a greater understanding of the Spirit. Now, in this third millennium, we are ready to know, love and honor more fully the Father from Whom all things come.   

 

Above all, the feast of the Father will focus attention on the most important truth of all: God’s infinite, unconditional love for each one of us and the need for us to respond to his invitation. 

 

This is what the feast is all about and why it is essential. It is the Love of the Father that we discover, celebrate, commemorate and enter.

 

Notes

1The True Lordship of Christ, ed. Ancora, pp. 96-9.7

2Ibid.

3Jean Galot, “The new worship of the Father”, December 1999.

4St. Augustine, Reply to Faustus the Manichaean, 16.29.

5John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis, Genesis 17:12. 

6Jean Galot, Abba Father We Long to See Your Face (New York: Alba House, 1992), 231-2.

7The True Lordship of Christ, ed. Ancora, pp. 96-97.

8Jean Galot, “The new worship of the Father”, December 1999.