A flood of thoughts came to me after reading it. I responded to her post.
"Children need to see how a man and woman interact and express love if they are too grow up and have healthy relationships with members of the opposite sex."
Yes. Even a present Father needs to have this forefront in his mind, generous with his time to his daughter and love of his wife. His daughter and his sons will soak in that role model."
In my father's generation, Fatherhood wasn't as hands on as it can be today. I can see how even with a traditional family I could have fallen into the behaviors of the fatherless the Crescat writes about. I have a good father and, for undeserving reasons, I won the lottery with my husband. My father will be the first to say so. He sees a helpmate to me in my husband and a playful father in his son-in-law.
We adore our children, of course and would accept them anyway God gave them to us. Which led my husband once to ask me, knowing how much I loved being a boy mommy, having 3 sons and pregnant with our 4th child, why I was hoping for a girl? I told him that I wanted a girl to have the opportunity to have him for a father...to be a daughter to a father like him. I wanted to see that and live that. Thank you, Lord, for giving my baby girl that dream come true.
On top of all that, my husband has and shows a love beyond us, his wife and children. We know He loves his Catholic faith even more, wanting to be in the next life loving his Savior face to face...always present on his mind and in his words and actions. And yet that Love spills, overflowing back into his family in his unselfish service to us.
To me, to his children, we think he glows with inspiration.
I have heard from people who notice it too, but the time it was spoken most poetically (to me) was from a priest I never met. My Aunty Bettina had died and plans were being made for her funeral in my home state a little more than an hour from where we live now. Aunty had wanted a Catholic funeral, but her children and husband were not practicing Catholics and so they honored my husband by asking him to help with arrangements. He handled speaking with the priest, arranging readings and served the Priest at the Mass. The morning of the funeral Mass we were all dressed and ready for our early drive. Showered, in dress clothes, I had even applied make-up which I normally don't wear. Then my 2nd son started feeling nauseous. With responsibilities ahead for him, my husband took the other 3 children and I stayed home and grieved my loss with my sick son, offering up my disappointment for her eternal rest. But the priest did call me. He called a couple of times. We had delightful conversations before and after the Mass. We talked about Aunty and the faith. He spoke about all his years of priesthood and how families and churches had changed.
When he called a 2nd time after the Mass I wondered what we hadn't talked about? Was there something he was trying to say? I was charmed and grateful that a busy priest took the time to call and chat, I wasn't annoyed in the least! But I wondered, was there something else he was trying to say?
He complimented my children, he spoke about needing to see a family committed to their faith and then he said,
"Allison, there's something I want to say about your husband. I feel I need to say it to you and you will understand what I mean and why I say it. When I saw him at prayer, when I saw him serving at the altar...well, there would have been a time where I would have sadly thought that he missed his vocation. He should have been a priest." (This is not something I hadn't thought of either.) " But now, at this time, and seeing him with his children, I know that God placed him perfectly. We need fathers like him, husbands like him, bringing forward a new generation to love and serve our Church."
With tears, I agreed. I understood. I have to believe God wants it so, as I am so grateful to be a beneficiary. And though, with our fallen nature, we are all bound to make mistakes, that it all might not turn our perfectly, I see a husband who puts himself last, puts God first and generously attends to his children's good and the needs of his Church. Also, I see a priest who put my needs first, but not ahead of God's and who was generous in words of kindness...a father to me and his Church. Suddenly, I want to call him.
Thank you, Lord, for such men.
I know they serve You and in doing so... lives are changed.
GOD BLESS THE FATHERS! St. Joseph and Our Lady, intercede for them.