Amoris Laetitia 177: A Father’s Presence

amoris laetitia memePope Francis echoes one of my observations from yesterday’s post: the vital role of consultation with the mother of one’s children. My main takeaway from AL 177 is the importance of a father just being present to his children. Nothing surpasses that.

177. God sets the father in the family so that by the gifts of his masculinity he can be “close to his wife and share everything, joy and sorrow, hope and hardship. And to be close to his children as they grow – when they play and when they work, when they are carefree and when they are distressed, when they are talkative and when they are silent, when they are daring and when they are afraid, when they stray and when they get back on the right path. To be a father who is always present. When I say ‘present’, I do not mean ‘controlling’. Fathers who are too controlling overshadow their children, they don’t let them develop”.(Catechesis (4 February 2015))Some fathers feel they are useless or unnecessary, but the fact is that “children need to find a father waiting for them when they return home with their problems. They may try hard not to admit it, not to show it, but they need it”.(Ibid.) It is not good for children to lack a father and to grow up before they are ready.

For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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