A Letter to a Father,
You must know by now, since you are a father, that you are being watched by your sons. And it is your sons who look up to you for assurance, guidance, and most of all…truth. It goes without saying that you must love your sons without conditions and let your firmness by guided by mercy. You have done well in your effort to pray for and with your children. Make sure that when you pray, you pray in front of your children so as to show them what is dear to you. In your prayers, ask for graces to love and work patiently with even the most hard-headed of your sons. In every trial you experience, do not give opportunity for complaining or murmuring as it will avail you any strength, in fact, it shall only work to weaken you. Do not be deceived, noble father. You are not just a physical creature but also a spiritual one – one that is intertwined with an age-old battle with actual forces of darkness and confusion. Among the many things your eternal foes despise, they despise your family and your leadership over your own household. Beware, Fathers… they seek to enter into family and break its bond in Christ. Even now, they look for a ‘chink’ in your armor. Searching endlessly for a weakness or an attraction to sin so as to inflame your desire to leave your post as a most worthy watchman over your most precious family. As Christ once said, “Or how can anyone enter into the house of the strong, and rifle his goods, unless he first bind the strong? and then he will rifle his house.” – Matthew 12:29.
So, therefore, remain vigilant always recognizing your role in the age-old battle for souls. But rest not on the belief that all your position entails is merely a watchman. No, you have a far greater mission granted to you by the Christ the King. You have been given the blessing of children but also the burden of training your sons into soldiers of Christ. How else can your sons bear the battlefield that Satan has so cleverly designed to ensnare the ignorant if they not receive proper training to defend themselves and even reclaim stole land and people for Christ’s kingdom? Therefore, train your sons in like manner:
- As the father, you hold special dominion over your children – bless them each night with the sign of the cross on their foreheads and make mention of their guardian angels to always stand with them. Bless them also with holy water as often as you can.
- Pray with your children – reciting the prayers given to you by Holy Mother Church. Make an unshakable routine of prayer, that which is mandatory each night before bed. I suggest the Holy Rosary, unless the children are very young and are unable to offer a sufficient amount of attention to this devotion. If this is so, pray with your spouse the rosary every night until the children are old enough to join. Read the daily scriptures to your children and allow them to ask questions about what they hear. Answer what you can and revisit after study what you cannot.
- When your sons sit with you at Mass, sit as far as you can to the front pew. In this way, they may see more closely what the priest does at the altar. Teach them the order of the liturgy; as well as the meaning of the Latin prayers and responses. Show them how to respond to the prayers of the Mass and make sure they understand this is a time for great reverence. Explain to them that the Mass is the revisiting of the once and for all sacrifice on Calvary represented in an unbloodied manner. Let them see through your words that they, with you, are at the foot of the Cross while attending the Mass.
- Above all, teach them to love and honor their mother. She carried them in her womb, she nursed them as infants, she is the tenderness that your sons need in order to better be acquainted with compassion. An upright boy is one who loves and honors his mother with a dutiful and joyful heart. Your sons of course must honor and respect you as well but it is a greater bond of compassion and mercy in your children if they graft to their mother – for your wife’s duty is to have a special kind of dominion forged with unfathomable love for her children. It would be an injustice to your wife to keep that duty from her as well as an injustice to your children to not receive it.
Teach them these things, and your sons will have within them the tradition of the Church and the love of God within them; and you may obtain the crown of glory for raising such fine children in the sight of Him who gave them to you. Amen.