Holy Family

Holy Family

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Feast of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Good morning. Children come to know God through us. We as parents represent, we offer for our children the first-hand experience of who God is; this especially comes to be experienced in a very special way between a child and their father. This is why, to a great extent, our current day culture is struggling as it is, in fact it is suggested by some that the greatest threat to current day American culture is fatherlessness. “Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.” Fatherlessness far surpasses any factor in American society in its impact on child emotional well-being. “Why is this?” we ask. Simply put, it is our witness as fathers of love. Fatherhood gives witness to the love of God the Father. We see lived-out in the role of fathers the free-will act of self-giving unique to the role of father. We see lived-out in the role of fathers a lesson of discipline and duty seen in no other relationship experienced by a child. We see lived-out in the role of fathers a sense of justice and mercy unique to the role of father. Blessed Pope John Paul II reminds us that when lived well, God the Father himself is present in human fatherhood. A father gives a child the needed balance to the warmth and gentleness of a mother. 

Much of the ill in today’s society can be summed up in the words used the other day by a client in referring to the father of her two children: “The sperm donor of my children isn’t part of their lives.” We have increasingly diminished the worth and dignity of fathers in our culture and should we need further proof we need only look to any present day family sitcom where we’ll either find the father to be absent or portrayed as a bumbling idiot. I sit here at my keyboard pondering the importance of fatherhood in part in response to today’s Gospel where Jesus instructs the Apostles on how to pray to our Father in heaven, and two it is in response to the feast of Saint Aloysius. I am reminded in the feast day of Aloysius the life of a very special father, the father to my wife, a man who well lived the role of father. Aloysius, my father-in-law (he went by Butch), was a witness to what it means to be a father. Our saint whose life we celebrate today, Saint Aloysius reminds us of the importance of providing such witness to our children; he noted the importance of leading a good life and coming to know God in the toils of daily life. Such is the dignity of hard work and fatherhood. Butch gave witness daily to the dignity of hard work, the dignity of married love; the certainty of his presence made a difference in the life of his children. The difference he made is reflected in the life of his daughter, my wife. Thanks Butch! We can make a difference as well. Make a great day! 

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.

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