Pathways through Lent

Semper Fi

Psalm 89:1–29 or 89:1–4, 26–29 2 Samuel 7:4,8–16 Romans 4:13–18 Luke 2:41–52

Always faithful. This motto of the United State Marine Corps suited my father to a T. He was faithful and loyal in all his endeavors, be it practicing law, preparing for a Sunday School lesson, or lining up a dead-aim putt.

Dad was a Marine bomber pilot in World War II who spent most of his time in the Pacific Theater. Unfortunately, he died while I was still in college—and with him died the conversations about his experiences as a Marine officer that we would have had when I was an adult. During the ensuing years, I often wondered about his life in the Corps. Finally, in a leap of faith, I placed an

ad in Leatherneck magazine, seeking colleagues who might have served with him.

The response was amazing. The faith and loyalty of these men—who were well into their 80s—showed forth in their responses with photos of Dad in uniform and on R & R. They, too, took a leap of faith to sit down and write a searching daughter. They, too, were loyal in their early life together, and they were perhaps more so in the sunset of their days.

In ways large and small, God our Father is semper fidelis. It is helpful to remember this during Lent, as even when we stray—and sin in things we have done and left undone—He is ever faithful, ever loyal.

This is the faith of our Father, and of my father, and of his searching daughter.

–Alma Hale Paty



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