A Father’s Actions Dan Lazarz 03/20/2013 Blog I am a Catholic. I am also a Life of Dad “insider.” With that being said, the views and opinions expressed herin are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Life of Dad, LLC, its affiliates or its other “insiders.” Ok, now that that’s out of the way… What a week it’s been to be a Catholic! Our eyes were glued to the television screen as we watched the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina walk out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, in Rome, as Pope Francis. In my case, my ears were glued to the Catholic Channel on XM Radio in my car, to hear of the great news. Since the announcement of the new Pope is in Latin, all I could decipher was “Jorge” and “Francisco” and thought for a second that the College of Cardinals was starting March Madness with their own version of a 16-seed upset, picking Chicago’s Archbishop Francis George. Thank God for translators. But finally, the Chair of St. Peter was no longer vacant. We had our Holy Father. Or, for Life of Dad purposes, our “Holy Dad.” I continued listening to the Catholic Channel throughout the next few days to hear of all the happenings with the Pope leading up to today’s official inauguration at the Vatican. And what better day to have his installation as Pope take place than on the Feast Day of St. Joseph, the patron saint of fathers…among others. It was today that I was listening to Gus Lloyd’s show on the Catholic Channel, “Seize the Day.” Mr. Lloyd shared more information on St. Joseph, the man, how he is revered in the Catholic faith as the foster father of Jesus and more. In addition, he directed us to his “:60 Reflections” for the day, entitled, “A Father’s Actions.” It’s with his permission that I am able to share an excerpt with you today. For the full version, I encourage you to visit the link provided. Special thanks to Mr. Lloyd for allowing me to make it a :30 Reflection: Did you know that not a word of Joseph’s is recorded in the Scriptures? But, many of Joseph’s actions are recorded. I think that this speaks volumes about the person of Joseph. He was certainly a devout and humble man that always did whatever God asked of him. And how special must he have been? After all, he was the one chosen from all time to care for the Messiah and his mother. He was the one who taught Jesus how to behave; taught him a trade and gave him a work ethic. He was the one tasked with protecting the child Jesus and Mary from people and forces that would come against them. He was the one who showed them what holy, masculine love truly was. As a father, Joseph is especially precious to me. We fathers must work to pattern our fatherhood after blessed St. Joseph, who was surely the most perfect of earthly fathers. He let his actions speak for him. He always did God’s will, no matter how difficult, no matter what other people may have thought. He took a young virgin as his wife, spirited her and the child off to Egypt, then back to Nazareth to make a home for them, all the while dedicating his whole life to God. Dads, are we following the example of St. Joseph? Ask today for his intercession that we might be fathers more like him. I’d like to take up Mr. Lloyd’s final question posed to Dads here at Life of Dad. There are quite a few items that stick out with this excerpt and I think Catholic, Christian or not…as Dads, we can take away some lessons from St. Joseph: 1) Not a word of St. Joseph’s is recorded in the Scriptures. Yet, he is one of the most revered, if not the most revered (among Christians, at least), human Dad ever to walk this Earth. It’s his actions that spoke volumes. How can we be like St. Joseph and allow our actions to speak volumes? Instead of picking up the Blackberry, how about picking up the ball & mitt to have a catch with your kids? Instead of walking over to the TV to turn up the volume, how about heading outside to go on a walk with your kids? St. Joseph led with his actions. So can we, as Dads. 2) St. Joseph took a young virgin as his wife, spirited her… Have you turned to the mother of your kids and thanked her for making you a Dad? Have you “spirited” her? If not, it’s probably time. I always say being a Mom is the hardest job in the world. Be like St. Joseph and show some appreciation. And remember, he had it a little more difficult. There’s God telling St. Joseph that Mary, Joseph’s wife, was going to have God’s child and that she would remain a virgin (again, Roman Catholic beliefs). Yet there he was, remaining by her side through it all. 3) He was the one chosen from all time to care for the Messiah and his mother. So must we, as Dads, care for our spouse & children. And as St. Joseph taught Jesus a trade, how to behave and provided him with a work ethic, so must we teach our children. This goes beyond teaching our children too. This goes to simply providing for and being there for our children. Our partner, the National Fatherhood Initiative, says it best in their mission: To improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers. Again, Catholic or not, I think we can look to St. Joseph as an example of how to be an involved, responsible and committed father. Well there you have it. Sorry for all the religion, but I think this topic was bound to come up sooner or later in a blog on this website, and I just felt rejuvenated after this week’s events too. I hope to see more discussion of faith, religion, etc…not just of my own, but others as well. I’ll close with a few questions for you: How much do you look to religion or your faith in your daily lives as a Dad? What additional actions can you undertake with your kids to show them your love? Who, in history, have you looked up to as a great fatherly role model? Comment away. Cheers, everyone! Make it a great day and thanks for stopping by the social network for Dads.