Notable quotations from Pope Francis and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Every family needs a father... I would like to begin ...with the Book of Proverbs, words that a father addresses to his own son ... "My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. My soul will rejoice when your lips speak what is right" (Pr 23:15-16).
Nothing could better express the pride and emotion a father feels when he understands that he has handed down to his child what really matters in life, that is, a wise heart.
A father knows all too well what it costs to hand down this heritage: how close, how gentle and how firm to be.
... What consolation and what recompense he receives when the children honor this legacy! It is a joy that rewards all the toil, that overcomes every misunderstanding and heals every wound.
The first need .... is ... that a father be present in the family. That he be close to his wife, to share everything, joy and sorrow, hope and hardship. And that he be close to his children as they grow: when they play and when they strive, 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 take a wrong step and when they find their path again; a father who is always present.
To say "present" is not to say "controlling"! Fathers who are too controlling cancel out their own children, they don't let them develop.
Fathers must be patient. Often there is nothing else to do but wait; pray and wait with patience, gentleness, magnanimity and mercy.
A good father knows how to wait and knows how to forgive from the depths of his heart. .. He also knows how to correct with firmness...
The Church ... is committed to supporting with all her strength the good and generous presence of fathers in families, for they are the irreplaceable guardians and mediators of faith in goodness, of faith in justice and in God's protection, like St. Joseph.
(Source: General Audience, 2/4/15)
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