Special Report: Devil in Rome premieres Monday, Aug. 22 at 8 PM ET
Being a father is fraught with uncertainty, challenges and so forth. Of course it is — because we do not know the future. Certitude would remove much anxiety, but such is not our lot, we poor creatures inside of time and space. That is what we strive for, however — certitude — at least to the highest degree we can have it. And certitude is pretty out of reach for the lone-ranger type of guy.
Men, fathers, need other men, fathers — be they biological fathers or spiritual fathers — to help father each other. The collective wisdom of a group of devoted Catholic men can be quite the formidable force, even for demons. That's because a group of men in a state of grace, striving to keep themselves and one another in a state of grace, is like an elite shock troop in spiritual warfare. That band of brothers or band of fathers mentality is a tough wall to knock down.
Men — well-balanced, emotionally healthy men — are pretty direct with one another. They don't sit around complaining about their feelings, their internal emotional strifes and how that all makes them feel.
That's because well-balanced men understand it's not about them, individually. It's about the effort at hand — and in spiritual warfare, that always relates to safeguarding the souls of your children. Priests, the good ones, know this. Dads, the good ones, know this. Even single guys who are in the right circumstances to live this out know this.
Men are the protectors, and they need the reassurance of companionship, the esprit de corps, the ability to consult with each, not about their feelings, but about their duty to family. Men, good men, will tell you it like it is. Sometimes that involves an occasionally salty word perhaps for emphasis, but clarity and certitude is what we strive for. Tell me it like it is, brother.
So many men fail at or struggle with fatherhood, even husbandry, today because they have bought into the twisted social dynamic that feelings are primary. Feelings are not primary. They never have been. It's not that they don't matter, but it is that they don't matter the most.
But so many men today have forgotten that. And in the Church, this is most especially true of a largely sissified clergy constantly recoiling from the plainspoken truth because they are wimps. They were formed by wimps in seminary. They were encouraged by wimps in their early pastoral year. And they associated with wimps during much of their clerical careers.
The opposite of wimp is not a loud-mouthed jerk who calls people names and bullies them. The opposite of wimp is friend. A friend will take you aside and give you a loving slap upside the head and call you out because he loves you and wants you to man up, so that you can shore up your end of the foxhole. He needs to know that you'll have his back when the artillery come raining down on him. He needs to know that you have been through the war, that you know how to handle weapons, that all you have fought for will not be lost.
You have been fighting for Heaven, for yourself and your boys, your girls, your women. There's no room for self-centered cowards in this foxhole. Want to whine? Run home to Mommy, you sissy. Fighting demons and dragons is man's work, and men need to support one another in this work. Want to be a better dad? Get around other good men.
To all the fathers out there: a blessed and loving Father's Day to you all.