What’s so great about being a Catholic Dad?

What’s so great about being a Catholic Dad?

Gerald at The Cafeteria is Closed asks a good question: What’s so great about children?

Now, don’t misunderstand him. Gerald makes it clear that he understands the Church’s teachings on marriage and family and agrees with them and that he knows and understands the objective reasoning. What he wants is the subjective response: “Why do YOU love being a dad?”

Consider Gerald’s position : He is the only child of only children and admittedly has spent no time around children. How can he know firsthand about children except what he sees in the media?

My wife Melanie just sent me a link to a beautiful video of a song by Billy Ray Cyrus called “Face of God”, in which he sings about his love for his daughter and how, when he sees her, he sees the face of God.

What if—in a figurative sense—we catch a glimpse of the face of God when look into the face of our daughter or son? What if the love between father and daughter (or mother and son and all the permutations) is the purest form of human love and thus is itself the closest yet flimsiest essence of the Divine Love? (While married love is awesome, let’s face it that for all of us it is the love between two sinners, whereas in the love between parent and child, one of you is sinless and thus loves with a pure heart.)

[Crossposted at Catholic Dads]

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  • Actually, I got the Face of God video from the comment box on Gerald’s blog post. Someone left it there as part of their response. The responses are (mostly) awesome, by the way.

  • When I was born, all of my sisters had moved out for college already, and I was raised essentially as an only child in that regard.  It was very lonely because there were times I had no other kids to play with, especially after we moved to a neighborhood that didn’t have many kids my age.  That’s what’s nice about kids: the kids you do have have people to be with.

  • A couple of comments. . .

    First, when you refer to the child as the “sinless,” half of the relationship, it’s pretty clear that your kids are still very, very young!  Believe me, they get over that before you know it!!

    On a more serious note, when I was a new father (just about 21 years ago) I quickly learned that the first human emotion is fear . . . the newborn displays it with the startle reflex, and it immediately stimulates an appropriate response from the parent; hold the baby close and say to him or her, “Don’t be afraid!” 

    It also occurred to me that phrases such as “Fear not,” and “Be not afraid” may be among the most common expressions throughout the old and new testaments and they are generally messages from God to man.

    As my children grow older and I am sometimes hurt by them—usually it’s their ingratitude that hurts the most—I recall my own ingratitude towards God. 

    In an imperfect way, then—and right from the start—this relationship between parent and child models itself on the relationship between God and man.

  • “As my children grow older and I am sometimes hurt by them—usually it’s their ingratitude that hurts the most—I recall my own ingratitude towards God.”

    Nice words and a timely (for me) reminder.

    What amazes me about our children is watching them grow, change, and absorb what is around them. I wonder about the information they process in their little brains as they can pronounce some funny and “where did that come from” observations.

    Our six-year old daughter wants a dog, though I am set against it and have declare there will be no dog in the house. While stopping at a local pet store with my wife, our daughter asked “when daddy dies can we get a dog?”

    I’m checking my brakes in the morning.

  • My husband often remarks that the 2-year-old, while clearly subject to concupiscence, is “the funniest kid ever.”

    Thomas remarks that “risibility” (the capacity for laughter) is one of the distinguishing marks of being human. To laugh more (at the right sort of things) is to be more human.

    While in the adult father risibility may be diminished by a bad day in the laboratory, the 2-year-old child enjoys an almost pre-lapsarian capacity for laughter and eliciting laughter. The fullness of man!

    What’s so great about kids? They’re so darn funny.