Father’s Day is coming up in a little less than two weeks and tomorrow marks the beginning of the end of the Year for Priests. In anticipation of these two events, I like Fr. James Farfaglia’s column over at Catholic Exchange on spiritual and natural fatherhood:
[S]ome men are called to be fathers of a family through the sacrament of marriage, and there are men who are called to be fathers of an immensely large family through the sacrament of Holy Orders. Fatherhood demands total self-giving.
True fathers will understand that parenting goes far beyond simply feeding their children and filling their day with hours of mindless television. True priests will always devote large amounts of time each week to preparing good Sunday homilies; to being available to meet the needs of their people; and to taking the time to visit the homebound and the sick in the hospitals. But if homes are abandoned because fathers are more concerned about their careers than their children, and if parishes are abandoned because the spiritual fathers are more concerned about their free time and entertainment than the souls entrusted to them, then it is no wonder that so many Americans wander aimlessly about seeking affection, love, direction, purpose and companionship?
Married love and celibate love can only be understood within the dimension of total donation of self. Selfishness will prevent us from the giving of ourselves unconditionally. If we live selfish lives, we will not experience the profound joy of Christianity.
Still looking for a good Father’s Day present? Check out Fr. Farfaglia’s book Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life in which he encourages men, specifically married men, to be faithful, authentic, mature, coherent, and heroic – to embrace and live out their masculinity as God created it to be lived.