Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Today is Father's Day. When I think of Father's Day of course I first think about my father, but I think of several other fathers. I think about both of my grandfathers. I think about my father-in-law. I think about my older brother who is now a father. I think about my cousins Brent and David who are fathers of infant children. I think about Joseph, the earthly father figure for Jesus. I think about the many priests who are the fathers of the one church. I think about myself and hope that one day I too will be a father. I think about what it means to be a father and what are fathers' responsibilities. I don't worry about whether or not I'll be a good father because I have such a great example to follow.

A father's main responsibility is to protect his wife and his children. This means not only to protect them from physical harm, but to protect them from the evils of the world and to protect his children's soul. To this day I remember one thing my father said to me when I was a teenage boy that has stuck in my mind forever. He said to me, "The one thing I fear the most is that one of my children won't join me in heaven." It could have been possible for me to take this comment the wrong way and think that he suggests that I am a bad kid and I needed to change, but I took it as my father meant it because I knew then and I have always known that my dad loves me. This comment I will never forget and will always remind me about how a father should love his children. My dad did not fear about having 8 children. He did not fear financial difficulties. He did not fear about his job nor did he fear death itself. His fear was out of concern for me, my brothers and sisters, my mom and our spiritual wellbeing. He knew that the worries of this world are not as important as our goal to reach heaven. He has shown that his love is completely selfless and deep. He does not just love me now, but forever. He has been an amazing example to me and my siblings.

Growing up I was always a little bit of a mamma's boy. I'd go to mom whenever I had arguments with my brothers or when I wasn't feeling good. My mom has always been good at showing and expressing her love to me. My dad showed me his love in a different way, in a way that I didn't fully appreciate until I was out of the house. In recent years and as I mature I begin to realize that I needed my dad's love and spiritual guidance more than I ever knew. If I could go back in time, I would not change one thing about my dad or how he raised me. I hope that I can one day be like him. Being a father is a big responsibility. Being a father might mean censoring the internet or television so that your kids aren't exposed to sinful garbage. A good father may not always please their children, but a good father will always love his wife and children unconditionally. A good father will do everything in his power to help his children to reach heaven. Isn't that what we are all called to do? Like I said before, I think about lots of fathers, many I have seen who are great examples for their children and today I thank all you fathers. I thank you dad for everything. You're the best ever! People can't imagine how blest my family is and how little problems we have. The reason my family is so loving and happy is because my father has been a great example and his father and my mother's father were great examples before them. Behind every great person is some other great person who had a huge influence on them. My dad is my hero. My dad is my example when I someday become a father. Dad, I love you! God Bless you all and do something nice for your father!

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