An Encouraging Word — In celebration of fathers

He who honors his father atones for sins. He who honors his father is heard when he prays. He who honors his father will live a long life. Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him. Kindness to a father will not be forgotten. Sirach 3,2-6, 12-14

Fr. Ron Knott.2012-wOne of my favorite commercials is the Subaru car commercial where a father is waiting to put his little girl on the school bus for the first time. They both have worried looks on their faces as the school bus comes into sight. They both pretend not to be scared. He encourages her as she looks back at him in resignation as she climbs the steps.

The next shot shows the father following the bus, admitting out loud that he is a possessive father. He pulls up beside the bus to get a look at his daughter, only to get a glimpse through the bus window of her laughing hysterically with a couple of new-found friends. He sinks relaxed back in his seat, smiling to himself knowing that they had both conquered their fears and she had successfully moved into the next level of growing up.

There was a McDonald’s hamburger commercial a few years ago, showing a little boy looking out at the driveway from the lower part of the screen door of his home in anticipation of his daddy coming home from work. As the car pulls into the driveway, the door swings open and the little boy runs into the arms of his waiting father. The scene ends with father and son spinning in ecstasy right there in the driveway.

To me, these are the images of the perfect father that come to mind as we approach Father’s Day this coming Sunday. In celebration of our annual Father’s Day, I would like to offer some gems from my wisdom collection of inspiring quotes to inspire all who can proudly say, “I am a father!”

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother,” according to Henry Ward Beecher.

“Every parent is at some time the father of the unreturned prodigal, with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope,” according to John Ciardi.

“It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons,” according to Johann Schiller.

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide to have your heart go walking around outside your body,” according to Elizabeth Stone.

Here is one from Kent Nerburn that is true of both biological and spiritual “fathers” — parent or priest. “It is much easier to become a father than be one.”

And to those who did not have the father they needed or wanted, when he was not there or was cruel, remember these words from Friedrich Nietzche, “When one has not had a good father, one must create one.”

It is much better to “father” oneself than do without one or, worse, be angry at the one you did have.

Father J. Ronald Knott

1 Comment

  • Beverly McAuliffe says:

    Fr. Ron,
    Thank you for your poignant words about fathers. My father died when i was 12 and I still miss him so much. Your words brought back the fond memories of him, especially the times when we enjoyed music together!

    As a parent, it is joy to watch my daughter and husband together; she thinks the world of her dad!

    Gratefully,
    Beverly McAuliffe

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