“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.”

These words, attributed to Pope John XXIII, sum up the mystery and majesty of fatherhood, which is honored today, Father’s Day.

They remind that any male of a certain age can help bring life into this world, but that is not enough, not by a long shot. “A real father” is what is needed, a man who understands that the precious being that has come into the world needs nurturing and guidance, discipline as well as love, a mother as well as a father. Sadly, in today's world, too often the father is absent or unreliable, and the child pays the price.

Today offers a chance to reflect on fatherhood from two different perspectives. Father’s Day is historically a day for children to let their father know just how much he means to them, and hopefully not just through the traditional gift of a tie or tool set.

And fathers can use today not just as a day to receive gifts but also as an opportunity to consider the important role they play in the lives of their children, and to commit to excellence in that part of their lives. The quality of our youth will go a long way to determining the future of our society, so it is hard to overstate the importance of the relationship between a father and his children.



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