Published on Jun 22, 2015
A note from Fr. Barr “Real Fathers“
Fathers and manhood can never be separated. Though not all men are fathers in the way we normally think, they are all called to live out the qualities of fathers. Today, there is a major identity crises for men. TV has fun caricaturizing men as being the totally dominant ogre, or if he fails he becomes a wimp, crying about anything. Or maybe they portray the dumb ox like Homer Simpson. All too often, people believe in the portrayals of masculinity which degrades directly half our population and still does a disservice to the other half.
All men are called to honor the dignity of women. All men are to honor their mothers. They have a special bond that cannot be replaced. From their mothers, they learn to respect other women when courting them. When they get married, this rule applies to their lives in a special way. They honor their wives as someone equal to them. They love their wives as Christ loves His Church (see Eph 5). It is with the love of God that they are called to love their wives. When they have daughters, more often than not, their hearts are changed. The preciousness they see in their child can’t help but change them. When society believes in the portrayals of what the TV has on men, the women get the short end of the stick. Women, stand up for your men!
But what are men and fathers? All men are, in short, called to be in imitation of our Heavenly Father. So what is the Heavenly Father like? He is just. He does not fly off the handle or let the emotions get the best of Him; though He is not afraid to love. He has compassion on His children when they need help. He is willing to sacrifice himself for our good, even when it means that everybody will be angry at Him. He does not count the cost because He loves. He does not take sides and is always willing to listen. He is unselfish, generous, stable, caring, loving, and faithful. He does not get caught up into gossip and is not afraid to set the rules.
In addition to these attributes of the Father in Heaven, fathers here on earth are called to lead the family in the spiritual life. They help their family get to heaven. They pray with their spouse and children. They are quick to show affection to those in the family who need it. They possess wisdom for the family to guide it and protect it. They seek God’s will in all things. They live their life in integrity and character. How they live their lives is a powerful witness they leave their children. Fathers are irreplaceable in the family.
Bottom line is, God called these men to bring His grace to others. It is not a grace found in sports and beer. It is a grace that is brought about through his actions and the way he loves. It is the grace that only a father can bring.
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Also see: http://www.ProLifeCorner.com