First off, it's important we wish all of our fathers a happy and blessed Father's Day. It is hard to overemphasize the importance of good mothers and fathers, especially with the world we find around us today.
We are surrounded by examples of what some have termed "toxic masculinity," of masculinity which doesn't accept "no" which considers itself the end-all-be-all of our society. But that's not masculinity, that's not fatherhood. A recent Wall Street Journal opinion wrote, there seems to be a lack of any masculinity in our world at all.
Which is why we need our fathers. Why we need fathers of all stripes, both physical and spiritual.
Speaking only for my own experience of fathers, I am cognizant of my blessings and how utterly unworthy I am of them. My own dad has blessed me with his support through my 21 years of life with his words but more importantly with his example.
By watching him I've learned a few things. I've learned you always look someone in the eye when you or they are speaking. I've learned to always be kind to any waiter or sales rep doing their job. I've learned the importance of both silence and speaking in equal measure. I've learned what it takes to admit when you're wrong and to change your whole belief system out of faith in something invisible.
I've learned that love is a choice you make every day, and I've seen firsthand what it means to accept and say yes to it with quiet strength each day.
And I've been blessed with another father in my priests.
Maybe once again I have been lucky. Perhaps your experience hasn't panned out in the same way mine has. I can only reassure you that within the Catholic Faith there are so many wonderful, blessed men engaged in the work of the priesthood.
And to a young boy, engaged in the faith and now as a young man, I've learned from them.
I learned from one priest who many in my parish disagreed with, they thought him surly and perhaps even mean. But all I saw was a titan who was there when my family first joined the faith and gave me my first crucifix.
I learned how much joy and laughter there is within the faith from a man and priest who came to it late in life.
I learned the nature of devotion and the Divine Mercy, which is a gift like no other, from my spiritual adviser.
So my experience has been a good one. And that may not be your experience, but I can only speak to my own. But here's what I'm trying to say: good fathers, good mothers are the people around which our world spins.
It's when the family falls apart that things go to hell in a hand basket. So now more than ever we need good parents who step up and be the example we need of our Heavenly Father's love and its reality.
We need fathers who see in their daughters the blessed purity of the Lord and who believe in their little girls no matter what. We need fathers who by their example will inspire a generation of sons to authentic masculinity. A masculinity which defends others, including women, not because they are weak but because they are precious and without price.
And we need spiritual fathers who will serve as they have for 2,000 years. The vision of Christ on earth.
Amen and g'night all.
"As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live." -St. Pope John Paul II