Are you ready for a deepening of your motives, attitudes and thought patterns?  Have you discovered that you have limited Jesus to the safer parts of your life?  Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to be set free to probe the deeper areas of your life?            

          So to all fathers:  Have you as a father been working on ways to strengthen your family?  Many fathers are devoting far more time and energy to worldly achievements than to their responsibilities as a husband and father.  Oftentimes a strong achievement orientation has motivated them to success in the business world.  But that success cannot ease the pain when one finally realizes one’s weakness as a husband and a father.

          As the light of the Holy Spirit dawns upon our lives, the old compromises sound hollow.  The claim that ‘I’m doing all this for my wife and children’ doesn’t seem to justify missing dinner night after night for business meetings. Many fathers sacrifice wives, children, homes, health and even God, all to climb a corporate ladder.  Work becomes the priority.

          Achievement and recognition, not a hunger for the kingdom of God, has become the driving force that motivates decisions and behavior.  Fathers are supposed to be the most direct path of God’s love to their wives and children.

          I don’t believe most fathers have consciously chosen to resist God, but they surround themselves with ways of thought, patterns of behavior and spiritual forces that cloud the truth.  God is merciful, however.  He doesn’t want our excuses or complaints.  He wants us to start doing something about our responsibilities.

          To begin to answer God’s call to become responsible fathers you need to recognize that you can’t change on your own.  Jesus, the One who offers the full truth, must teach you how to restructure your lives according to God’s plan.  You begin by trying to integrate Jesus into every moment of your lives.  Jesus is the leader and the teacher, and He walks before us.  We must follow in step with Him.

          We get in step with Jesus by getting our life in balance.  A balanced life is one in which our decisions and behavior patterns are in line with God’s priorities.  It is a life centered on the basics – prayer, study, and loving service.  Here is a list of basic steps to balance one’s life according to the Lord’s priorities:

  • Go before the Lord in prayer each day.
  • Develop a regular life of worship, especially on Sunday.
  • Receive the Sacraments often.
  • Read the scripture every day.
  • Discipline your mind and your behavior to conform with the word of God.

          Each of these basic steps has to be at least begun in your lives if you are to live out the call to fatherhood.  However, a decision to take these steps doesn’t automatically make them happen.  They take time and effort.  God doesn’t ask for instant perfection, but He does insist on a sincere effort to bring our lives into balance.  The effort you put into these steps must be at least as great as your efforts in the other areas such as work, education, and recreation.  God wants our best efforts to go to Him and to our families.

          It is up to each and every father in our parish to make this happen.  How about you?  How about today!