Holy Father has Message for Fathers suffering Workaholism

From January 28, 2015 general audience:

“Father is a universal word, known to all. It indicates a fundamental relationship that is real and ancient as the history of mankind. Today, however, we have reached the point of affirming that ours would be a ‘society without fathers’…. And, as often happens, we have passed from one extreme to the other. The problem of our times no longer seems to be the invasive presence of fathers, but rather their absence. … Fathers are so focused on themselves, on their work and at times their personal fulfilment, that they even forget their families, leaving children and the young to their own devices. … Now, on this shared path of reflection on the family, I would like to say to all Christian communities that we must be more careful: the absence of the paternal figure in the life of children and the young produces lacunae and wounds that can be very serious. And in effect the deviances of children and adolescents may to a considerable extent be due to this lack of examples and authoritative guidance in their everyday life, to this lack of closeness and love from their fathers”.

Truth. Read the rest here.

Even though, as a father, I am “here” much of the time (at least physically) it is still too easy to forget that what frequently occupies our attention — respect, success, money — is entirely unimportant compared to the magnificent gifts we find in our children and family.

And, the one thing (no matter how distracted I am) that constantly catches my attention is how quickly it all goes — how one minute you’re holding a little baby, bouncing him on your knee and changing his diapers, and how the very next minute he is bounding through the door with youthful vigor, emptying your refrigerator, and “borrowing” your underwear and socks. In another minute, he’ll be standing on the lawn of some college quad somewhere, watching you drive away. And in a minute after that, God willing, you’ll be bouncing a grandchild on your knee, and passing him back to mom or dad when the little one has a soiled diaper.

I suspect that a question we may have to answer to Our Father in Heaven, relative to our roles as fathers, is “Where were you?” Not, “Where were you, when your {boss}{client}{customer}{coworker}{vendor} needed you?”

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