This coming Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day.
Since the early 1900s, Father’s Day has been celebrated in our country as a way to honor our fathers for what they have done for us. Father’s Day was made an official holiday in 1910, not long after Mother’s Day had also been established with much fanfare.
Though our society faces many problems, including the absence of fathers, fathers themselves face many challenges today.
Due to our depressed economy, no matter how educated or how hardworking some men may be, the ever-increasing unemployment rate puts some fathers in truly difficult positons. Speaking from personal experience, there is nothing more demoralizing or difficult for a husband and father than to not be able to provide for his family. Men are supposed to provide all of the basic human necessities for their families, and sometimes that just isn’t possible.
Pray for families in these types of situations. Pray that the heads of households across our nation find some kind of work that gives their families what they need and affords them the dignity that comes with an honest day’s work.
While being out of work is not necessarily a new challenge to father’s today, we fathers also face a spiritual attack that is meant to demoralize and reduce us to nothing more than lazy buffoons with a remote control and a can of beer in our hands. Our modern popular culture has brought us from Father Knows Best to Father Knows Nothing. We have been portrayed in modern entertainment as Homer Simpson-like dolts in so-called man-caves, and most recently as cross-dressing dads, such as a new ABC Family/Disney show called Becoming Us.
Is this really what our society wants? It’s bad enough that many long-running government welfare programs break families apart by replacing husbands and fathers with food stamps and housing vouchers for single mothers, but now we see modern culture idolizing men who would rather try on pantyhose than play baseball with their sons.
There are also men who live with the mentality that it’s fun to be a “player” rather than a responsible man who desires to marry a good woman and raise a strong Christian family with her. As a father of two aborted children, I too bought into this lie of men being irresponsible womanizers and having our proverbial cake and eating it too. I bought into the lies of abortion and contraception, and for that I am painfully sorry. But I am also determined to teach my sons to not repeat the things I’ve done.
Before we can become fathers, we must become men. Before we become men, we must be good sons. Not just sons of our biological parents, but good sons of Our Father in heaven. This is where today’s fathers must not fail and must not become lazy. We must teach our sons to be good, strong Christian men and to love our Lord Jesus as He loves us. There is no shame in that love.
Remember that when a wolf wants to attack a flock and devour the sheep, the first person he has to take out is the shepherd. In this same way, Satan attacks our society. He has taken out many men—both laymen and priests alike—which has left so many of the lives and souls of our wives, daughters, and sons for him to devour. We must strive to protect them each and every day.
Finally, when we think of fathers on Father’s Day, do not forget our clergy. Keep them in your prayers. There’s a reason why we call our Catholic priests “father.” They serve as father figures who are responsible for getting us to heaven. And we too must pray for them so that they may reach heaven as well.
My best prayers and wishes to dads everywhere for a truly happy Father’s Day. May you always use the example of Christ to lead and guide you.
Saint Joseph, ora pro nobis.