A father’s prodigal love and approval fill the space carved into our being by the finger of our Creator. Boy or girl, man or woman, all, and no matter the age, thirst for it. Our household knows this well.
After a period of infertility, physical deterioration, and loss, when we were told never to expect children again, God gave us two boys—two sons and future fathers. It’s not unusual in our home to hear the boys say: “Mom, you are my mommy, you are not my daddy, daddy is my daddy,” as the four year old likes to remind me. Or: “Dad, when I grow up, I’m going to be just like you,” as the 8-year-old often tells my husband. These are the articulations of boys who sense that fatherhood is just as life creating as motherhood. The boys are friends and brothers; my husband is father and friend. And when the 8-year-old plays “teacher and pupil,” with his 4-year-old brother, the life-giving prodigal love and approval he receives from my husband he in turn pours into his little brother.
Not everyone in today’s culture is so blessed. Father famine is pervasive. Sons and daughters of all ages go about their lives wounded by father famine. Here in Phoenix, a sagacious man of God is addressing these wounds. This past year, Bishop Thomas Olmsted wrote and put forth Into the Breach, an Apostolic Exhortation to the men of the Diocese of Phoenix. One of Bishop Olmsted’s primary concerns in this document is for men to become aware of how extensive the attacks on fatherhood have become.
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