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Just before we begin today, may I ask you to say a prayer for my mother, Anne Josephine. Today, June 15, is the 11th anniversary of her death. It was her choice to pray to Our Lord and ask for a cross to turn me from my evil ways that has caused all of this here at Church Militant to happen. Shortly after that prayer she was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which was the eventual cause of her death. She suffered much so that I might be brought back to the one holy Catholic faith. Thank you for your prayers.
Now, moving from motherhood to fatherhood. All this week, in the run-up to Father's Day next weekend, we are going to be addressing the issue of manhood, masculinity, fathering. Twenty-four million children in America — one out of three — live in a home without a father present. That is beyond critical. It points to the pending collapse of a civilization. Certainly it is not the only sign of what is coming — but it's a pretty clear one.
About half those children are boys — 12 million boys with no father. Where and how precisely are these young innocent boys supposed to learn how to grow into strong men? Fatherless children are four times more likely to be poor than children with fathers. Multiple studies show that fatherless children are considerably more aggressive than those with fathers. Fatherless children are much more likely to get involved in crimes, drug use and end up in jail. Fatherless children tend to be much more sexually active.
The role and presence of a father is so critical that, in their absence, the entire society crumbles.
And this is to say very little of the spiritual dimension. There is no way to poll or accurately survey the even bigger crisis of absent spiritual fatherhood. The psyches of these young boys and girls are destroyed to such a degree that many of them will find it very difficult ever blending back into so-called "normal society."
As an aside: When these kinds of numbers are becoming the rule, we may soon need to readjust what we consider "normal." This is the new normal.
Adolescents coming to full adulthood who are angry, raging sometimes, who turn to crime, drugs, sex, violence, are much more prone to walk around with deep psychological wounds, angry at themselves, angry at the world, angry at God.
Now, not all of them obviously turn to the outward behaviors that society frowns on. But large numbers suffer from deep resentments that manifest themselves in relationships with other males, authority figures, their ability to interact in a healthy manner with women, etc. The depth of resentment at being denied what is theirs by right — the loving embrace and firm guidance of a father — might be hard for some to imagine. To grow up believing the world owes you something — which on one level it can be argued it does — and be denied that is almost guaranteed to spawn a host of spiritually destructive behaviors — many more, in fact, than the socially destructive ones. After all, you might get caught and jailed for being a thief, but you won't get jailed for having given up on faith or rejecting God.
All this has happened because many men rejected the basic foundational truth of manhood: that your life is to be spent at the service of others, even to the point of dying for those you love to protect them. Until sufficient numbers of men understand that and make it their own again, society will be lost and spiral even more out of control.
If you are a man who is married and with a family, and you are messing around sexually, if you are man with children and they are not the center of your life, consider the destruction you are raining down on your children, on your boys.
If you are an unmarried man but biologically producing children, you need to stop. Your son or sons are going to grow up resenting you, the world, taking their anger out on their single mothers, ignoring God, and be so damaged that they might never be able to enjoy a nice life with their own family.
You also don't get to be a careerist and rationalize your time spent making money and serving your own ego, as doing it "for them." End your extramarital affair, do an immediate course correction, eat whatever humble pie you need to to admit to your son that you haven't been as good a father as you needed to be to this point. Stop pouring more energy into something other than teaching your son to be a man — a true man, a Godly man, a holy man.
You need to do a gut check of the most supreme kind you can. You can start over. Do it.
You need to look at your son and search his soul. All he wants is your love, your guidance, your strong arm to lift him out of the rage and anger that he has cleverly disguised even from himself. And for this to truly happen, you need to turn to your Father in Heaven and confess your failing in being the model of God the Father to your son and ask your Father to help you.
The goal of every father this Father's Day shouldn't be to pretend you like that ugly tie or to spend an afternoon with your boy thinking you've met your time quota this year; it is to be worthy of your son looking at you and saying, "I love you, Dad."