Fathers' Day 2019

From Fr. Tony Kadavil's Collection:

1: “Have you ever seen a saint praying?”  St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Teresa of Avila have their own stories about the influence their fathers had on their lives as role models. The Little Flower used to ask an innocent question of her first grader classmates: “Have you ever seen a saint praying?”  She would add: “If you haven’t, come to my house in the evening.  You will see my dad on his knees in his room with outstretched arms, praying for us, his children, every day.”  She states in one of her letters from the convent: “I have never seen or heard or experienced anything displeasing to Jesus in my family.” In the final year of her high school studies, St. Teresa of Avila was sent by her father (against her will), to a boarding house conducted by nuns. Her father took action at the moment he discovered bad books and yellow magazines hidden in her box. These had been supplied to Teresa by her spoiled friend and classmate, Beatrice.   St. Teresa later wrote as the Mother Superior: “But for that daring and timely action of my father, I would have ended up in the streets, as a notorious woman.” Father’s Day challenges Christian Fathers to be role models to their children. ( )
2) “Paco, meet me at the Hotel Montana noon Tuesday. All is forgiven.” In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Capital of the World,” a Spanish newspaper, El Liberal,  carried a poignant story about a father and his son.  It went like this. A teen-aged boy, Paco, and his very wealthy father had a falling out, and the young man ran away from home.  The father was crushed.  After a few days, he realized that the boy was serious, so the father set out to find him.  He searched high and low for five months to no avail.  Finally, in a last, desperate attempt to find his son, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read, “Dear Paco, Meet me at the Hotel Montana noon Tuesday.  All is forgiven. I love you.  Signed, Your Father.  On Tuesday, in the office of Hotel Montana, over 800 Pacos showed up, looking for love and forgiveness from their fathers. What a magnet that ad was! Over 800 Pacos!! We all hunger for pardon.  We are all “Pacos” yearning to run and find a father who will declare, “All is forgiven.” Father’s Day reminds us that we need more loving, forgiving fathers. ( )
#3 “I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday. A friend tells about how when he was a small boy, his father’s birthday rolled around, and he did not realize it until it was too late to get his father a birthday present. So, he went through all his resources and came up with 17 cents. He put the dime, the nickel, and the two pennies in an envelope and gave it to his father with a note: “I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday. Thanks for being the best dad in the whole world. Sorry I did not get you a gift. This is all I’ve got.” Years later, at his father’s death, when he was going through his father’s possessions, he discovered within a special compartment of his father’s wallet, the envelope, the note, the dime, the nickel, and the two pennies that his father had carried all those years. (Donald Shelby, “Love is Gratitude”). Why? Why of all the things the father and son had experienced together was this token kept as the most precious reminder of their relationship? Why? It was pure love, and pure gratitude. And that’s what we have in our second Scripture lesson today. ( )
# 4: “And if you don’t pass the test you have to be the Daddy?” A mother was out walking with her 4–year-old daughter. The child picked up something off the ground and started to put it into her mouth. The mother took it away and said “Don’t do that!” “Why not?” asked the child. “Because it’s on the ground,” said her mother. “You don’t know where it’s been. It’s dirty, and it’s probably loaded with germs that could make you sick.” The child looked at her mother with total admiration and said, “Mommy, how do you know all this stuff? You’re so smart.” The mother said, “All Moms know this stuff. It’s on the Mom’s Test. You have to know it or they don’t let you be a Mom.” There was silence for a minute or so as the child thought this through. “Oh, I get it,” she said at last. “And if you don’t pass the test you have to be the Daddy?” (The Jokesmith). Welcome on this Father’s Day. As someone has said, “Father’s Day is like Mother’s Day, except the gift is cheaper.” And that’s true. But there are some fine Dads in our congregation, and we want to honor them. After all, it’s not easy being a Dad. ( )
6.  Helping your father: A clergyman walking down a country lane and sees a young farmer struggling to load hay back onto a cart after it had fallen off.
“You look hot, my son,” said the cleric. “why don’t you rest a moment, and I’ll give you a hand.”
“No thanks,” said the young man. “My father wouldn’t like it.”
“Don’t be silly,” the minister said. “Everyone is entitled to a break. Come and have a drink of water.”
Again the young man protested that his father would be upset. Losing his patience, the clergyman said, “Your father must be a real slave driver. Tell me where I can find him and I’ll give him a piece of my mind!”
“Well,” replied the young farmer, “he’s under the load of hay.”
7.  Brag about parents: An Army brat was boasting about his father to a Navy brat.
“My dad is an engineer. He can do everything. Do you know the Alps?”
“Yes,” said the Navy brat.
“My dad built them.”
Then the naval kid spoke: “And do you know the Dead Sea?”
“It’s my dad who’s killed it!”
8.  New family driver: Martin had just received his brand-new driver’s license. The family trooped out to the driveway, and climbed in the car, for he was going to take them for a ride for the first time. Dad immediately headed for the back seat, directly behind the newly-minted driver.
“I’ll bet you’re back there to get a change of scenery after all those months of sitting in the front passenger seat teaching me how to drive,” says the beaming boy to his father.
“Nope,” comes dad’s reply, “I’m gonna sit here and kick the back of your seat as you drive, just like you’ve been doing to me all these years.”
9.  One cynic, speaking from his own experience, noted that children go through four fascinating stages. First, they call you DaDa. Then they call you Daddy. As they mature, they call you Dad. Finally, they call you collect to borrow money.
10.  A Father’s Day Card read: “Being a father can be expensive, time-consuming, frustrating, confusing and emotionally draining. Actually, it’s a lot like golf.”
11.  Comedian Johnny Carson said his son gave him a paper which read, “To the man who has inspired me with his fatherly wisdom.” Carson said, “Son I didn’t know you felt that way about me.” His son said, “I don’t! Can you fax this to Bill Cosby?” Fathers have a hard times nowadays getting respect.

11 Additional anecdotes

1) “I never hugged my dad”! In his book My Father, My Son, Dr. Lee Salk describes a moving interview with Mark Chapman, the convicted slayer of Beatle John Lennon. At one point in the interview, Chapman says: “I don’t think I ever hugged my father. He never told me he loved me…I needed emotional love and support. I never got that.” Chapman’s description of how he would treat a son if he had one is especially tragic, because he will probably never get out of prison and have a family of his own. He says: “I would hug my son and kiss him…and just let him know…he could trust me and come to me…and (I would) tell him that I loved him.” Dr. Salk ends his book with this advice to fathers and sons. It applies equally well to mothers and daughters. “Don’t be afraid of your emotions, of telling your father or your son that you love him and that you care. Don’t be afraid to hug and kiss him. Don’t wait until the death bed to realize what you’ve missed.” (Mark Link in Sunday Homilies( )

2) “Wait until you see sister!” A bald man and his wife one night decided to go out to dinner and hired a babysitter to take care of their kids. While they were gone, the babysitter got interested in TV and wasn’t watching the kids very carefully. The couple’s little boy got into his father’s electric shaver and shaved a big landing strip right down the middle of his head. When Dad, got home, he was furious. He said, “Son! I told you never to play with my shaver. Now you are going to get a spanking that you will never forget!” He was just about to give the spanking when the boy looked up at him and said, “Wait until you see sister!” The Mom and Dad were both horrified. They went into the next room and there was their little four-year-old daughter with the hair shaved off of her head. She looked like a skinned rabbit. By this time Dad was furious. He grabbed his son and said, “Now you’re really going to get it.” Just as Dad was about to begin administering discipline, his son looked up at him with tears in his eyes and said, “But Daddy! WE WERE JUST TRYING TO LOOK LIKE YOU!” [Parables, Etc. (Saratoga Press, P.O. Box 8, Platteville, CO, 80651; 970-785-2990), October 2001.] And that’s key to whole parenting thing, isn’t it? Many of our kids just want to look like us. ( )

3) Once upon a time: A few of you remember the days of black-and-white television when television networks carried shows like Father Knows Best and Ozzie and Harriet. The norm for these programs was a family with a working husband and a wife who stayed at home, lovingly devoted to her husband and her children. At least that was the image the media portrayed. Most families even then were not as idyllic as the sitcoms portrayed them. ( )
4) “If Daddy Will Hold Me”: A little girl had somehow received a bad cut in the soft flesh of her eyelid. The doctor knew that some stitches were needed, but he also knew that because of the location of the cut, he should not use an anesthetic. He talked with the little girl and he told her what he must do… and asked her if she thought she could stand the touch of the needle without jumping. She thought for a moment, and then said simply, “I think I can if Daddy will hold me while you do it.” So the father took his little girl in his lap, steadied her head against his shoulder, and held her tightly in his arms. The surgeon then quickly did his work… and sewed up the cut in her eyelid… and the little girl did not flinch. She just held on tight to her Father.
That’s a parable for us in our spiritual lives and a graphic reminder that whatever we have to face, we can hold on tight to our Father… and He will see us through. There’s a word for that… it’s called TRUST or FAITH. It’s surely what Jesus had in mind when he said, “Unless you become like a little child, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (James W. Moore, When Our Children Teach Us) ( )

5) ”I learned it from you, Daddy.” The Talmud tells us, ”A child tells in the street what its father says at home.” Much to the embarrassment of many parents, this adage is true. One father tells of taking his three-year-old son with him to see Grandma and Papa. While visiting, Grandma and her grandson baked cookies while dad and Papa watched a football game. Upon tasting a sample from the first batch, the three-year-old held the cookie out saying, ”Damn, this is good!” Grandma gasped. The father jumped from his chair and corrected his son saying, ”That’s not a nice word! Where did you learn that word?” The boy instantly replied, ”I learned it from you, Daddy. You say it every time Momma fixes supper.”( )

6) Notorious outlaws: Regardless of what you may have heard or read, Frank and Jesse James, two of the most famous outlaws of all time, were cold-blooded murderers. Their father, though, was a Baptist pastor and the founder of William Jewel College in Liberty, Kentucky. Their mother was raised in a Catholic convent. Both parents espoused values very different from those that their sons held. Yet, Robert James, their father, deserted his wife and sons while they were still very small so that he could search for gold in California. [Castel, Albert. “Men Behind the Masks: The James Brothers,” American History Illustrated (June, 1982), pp. 1018.] Another of the men who terrorized the West was named John Wesley Hardin. Guess where he got his name? Hardin was the son of a Methodist circuit rider who also taught school and practiced law. Hardin’s father, a fervent Texan, raised his son to hate the North. When Hardin, at age 14, shot and killed a black man in honest self-defense, his father sent him away, not trusting the justice of the Northern Reconstruction government in Texas. Hardin subsequently killed Federal soldiers on a number of occasions, though the Civil War had ended years earlier. He also spent 17 years in prison for shooting a deputy. Perhaps John Wesley Hardin would have taken a different path if his father had not hated the government so much, and if his father had not shielded him from facing justice when he shot his first victim. [McGinty, Brian. “John Wesley Hardin,” American History Illustrated (June 1982) pp. 3236.] Regardless, it is clear that though the fathers of Frank and Jesse James and of John Wesley Hardin were men of the cloth, they were not great role models. ( )

7) “My son is ‘under 12.'” Tell me, what will the child in this little scenario remember?  The family goes to Mass every Sunday and on all the Holy Days of Obligation.  They say the Rosary and talk about Christian values at dinnertime.  Then, on Saturday night, when they go out to the movies, the father tells the cashier that his son is “under 12”, when, in fact, he’s already 13. Now, tell me, what will make the biggest impression on this young man? What he’s heard all week or what he sees on Saturday night? ( )
8) Four Fathers from The Bible: Enoch, a father who walked with God as a great man of Faith.
Noah, who was concerned about saving his children; he taught them about righteousness. He also walked with God, leaving a great example to follow.
Abraham, who was given the title “Father of all of them that believe”. He trained them as mentioned in Genesis 18:19.
Joshua, who trusted God when others would not. Joshua didn’t care what other fathers were doing; he and his family were going to serve the Lord! (Fr. Antony Kayala). ( )

9) “You promised that, Dad. ‘No matter what,’ you said, ‘I’ll always be there for you!'” There’s a fascinating story that comes from the 1989 earthquake which almost flattened Armenia. That earthquake killed over 30,000 people in less than four minutes. In the midst of all the confusion of the earthquake, a father rushed to his son’s school. When he arrived, he discovered the building was flat as a pancake.
Standing there looking at what was left of the school, the father remembered a promise he’d made to his son, “No matter what, I’ll always be there for you!” Tears began to fill his eyes. It looked like a hopeless situation, but he couldn’t take his mind off his promise.
He remembered that his son’s classroom was in the back right corner of the building He rushed over there and started digging through the rubble. As he was digging other grieving parents arrived, clutching their hearts, saying: “My son! My daughter!” They tried to pull him off of what was left of the school saying: “It’s too late!” “They’re dead!” “You can’t help!” “Go home!”
Even a police officer and a fire fighter told him he should go home. To everyone who tried to stop him he said, “Are you going to help me now?” They didn’t answer him but he continued digging for his son stone by stone. He needed to know for himself: “Is my son alive or is he dead?”
This man continued to dig for eight hours and then twelve and then twenty-four and then thirty-six. Finally, during the thirty-eighth hour, as he pulled back a boulder, he heard his son’s voice. He screamed his son’s name, “ARMAND!” and a voice answered him, “Dad? It’s me Dad!”
And then the boy added these priceless words, “I told the other kids not to worry. I told ’em that if you were alive, you’d save me and when you saved me, they’d be saved. You promised that, Dad. ‘No matter what,’ you said, ‘I’ll always be there for you!’ And here you are Dad. You kept your promise!” (Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Chicken Soup for the Soul; added in Jan, 2014). ( )

10) “Just the cutest thing!” A woman wrote to a magazine to tell about an event that had occurred in her family when she was about eighteen months old. Her mother was out and her dad was in charge of her and her brother who was four years older. Someone had given her a little ‘tea set’ as a get-well gift and it was one of her favorite toys. Her Dad was in the living room one evening engrossed in the evening news and her brother was playing nearby in the living room when the little girl brought her Dad a little cup of make-believe ‘tea,’ which was just plain water. After several cups of this tea and lots of praise from Dad for making such a yummy concoction, the little girl’s Mom came home. Her Dad made Mom wait in the living room to watch this eighteen-month-old bring him a cup of tea, because it was “just the cutest thing!” Her Mom waited, and sure enough, here the girl came down the hall with a cup of tea for her Daddy. Mom watched Dad drink this special tea, then asked, “Did it ever occur to you that the only place that baby can reach to get water is the toilet?” (MONDAY FODDER, To subscribe ( )

11) “I wasn’t a good father.” Baseball superstar Mickey Mantle was interviewed shortly before his death. He had been a hero on the ball field, but not such a superstar outside baseball. After his playing days ended, he checked into the Betty Ford Clinic to deal with the consequences of a lifetime of alcohol abuse. Part of his struggle involved the loss of his son, Billy, who had died of a heart attack while suffering from Hodgkin’s disease, a genetic disease which had killed Mantle’s father and grandfather at an early age. In the interview, Mickey Mantle said, “One of the things I learned at the Betty Ford Clinic was why I was depressed. I wasn’t a good father. I always felt like I wasn’t there for my kids like my father was for me.” (Dr. Stanley C Sneeringer,‑11‑99.htm.) ( )

12) Andy did not get a spanking; instead he got a hug: Brandon has two little kids: Andy, who is five years old, and Charlie, who is four. Brandon  tries to be a good father to his little boys. Brandon goes and shaves himself and goes on to dress up. He comes out a few minutes later and what does he see? Little Andy has gotten hold of his father’s electric shaver and shaved a big expressway right down the middle of his head. Brandon is furious. He says, “Andy! Didn’t I tell you never to play with my shaver. Now you are going to get a spanking you will never forget!” He was just about to administer the spanking when Andy looks up at him and says, “Wait till you see Charlie!” Brandon and his wife are simply horrified when they go into the washroom and see their little four-year-old boy with all of the hair gone, looking like a little skinned rabbitBy this time, Brandon is really furious. He grabs up Andy and says, “Now you are really going to get it.” Just as he lifts his hand and starts to bring it down, Andy looks up at him with tears in his eyes and said, “But Daddy! We were just trying to be like you!” Well, Andy did not get a spanking; instead he got a hug. Isn’t that true? In so many ways we want to be like our fathers. It shows that they were and are heroes for us and that we are heroes for our children. (Fr. Mateuz) ( )

13) President Bill Clinton’s Father’s Day Proclamation in 1998: “Fathers play a unique and important role in the lives of their children. As mentor, protector, and provider, a father fundamentally influences the shape and direction of his child’s character by giving love, care, discipline, and guidance. As we observe Father’s Day, our nation honors fatherhood and urges fathers to commit themselves selflessly to the success and well-being of their children. And we reaffirm the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. Raising a child requires significant time, effort, and sacrifice; and it is one of the most hopeful and fulfilling experiences a man can ever know. A father can derive great joy from seeing his child grow from infancy to adulthood. As a child matures into independence and self-reliance, the value of a parent’s hard work, love, and commitment comes to fruition. Responsible fatherhood is important to a healthy and civil society. Numerous studies confirm that children whose fathers are present and involved in their lives are more likely to develop into prosperous and healthy adults. Children learn by example; and they need their father’s presence as examples of virtue in their daily lives. A child’s sense of security can be greatly enhanced by seeing his parents in a loving and faithful marriage.” ( )