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The Forgotten Prayer of the Father

Tucked away in a seemingly boring part of the Bible, the Forgotten Prayer of 1 Chronicles 4:10 is an unexpected invitation for men to come home—to the family we have all desired, the Church and the Holy Trinity, and our true vocation as fathers. The so-called “Prayer of Jabez” is not the materialistic and shallow wish list it’s often made...

Fathers, Don’t Tap Out

The kids were out of control and so were the bills, my relationship with my wife felt strained, and I honestly didn’t think I could handle the stress at work anymore. I’ll never forget the day it all seemed to come crashing together. It looked like an ugly self-portrait, an American Gothic with me holding a pitchfork next to an...

Fathers, Bring the Joy

“It’s good to be king” was a common refrain in my home, and it was always in reference to me. I was a 5-year-old boy, who, my parents joked, got the royal treatment. My mother and father cooked for me, cleaned for me, and made sure I went to bed early. I was capable of making my bed and getting...

Fathers, Fight for Milk

I’ll never forget the night my first child was born. I was racing down the freeway before dawn, clutching the steering wheel.  “Look out for deer,” Brittany moaned. I glanced at her sideways.  “You’re in labor, and you’re worried about deer?” “Just watch out for deer, okay!” I squeezed the steering wheel until my knuckles turned white.  Nothing changes a...

The Gift of a Father’s Blessing

Scripture begins with the story of creation. God pours out his creativity and handiwork on the world, filling it with life and abundance. On the final day of creation, God creates mankind, made in his own image, as the culmination and the crown of his labors.  God then admires his work, granting it the primordial blessing: "It is very good"...

What Men Can Do to End Abortion

Men are frequently told that abortion is a women’s issue and therefore they should have no role in the issue. The argument follows that since men cannot get pregnant and have abortions, they cannot understand what a woman is going through and therefore they should have no voice. This argument is flawed because men are also affected by abortion and...

Fathers: The Best Catechesis is a Life Well Lived

Recently, my five year old announced that he wanted a different haircut. The minimalist, efficient buzz-cut given to him by his mother was no longer sufficient. He instead wanted a longer, more shapely cut so he could wear his hair like mine. Around the same time, my four year old announced that he was hopeful that he could grow a...

The Paradox of Francis: When We Need Fathers, We Get the Law

In a business class in high school I recall studying how factories try to figure out how to squeeze productivity out of workers.  In one case they took a group of women apart from the rest, gave them a specific widget-making task, and then had them do it over and over again with different work schedules.  They tried all kinds...

The Essential Presence of a Father

Recently, at the park with my wife and son, I witnessed one of the saddest sights I’ve seen in a long time. A little boy, about five or six, was there with his dad. Normally, this would be a wonderful thing, but the tragedy was, they weren’t spending time with each other. The dad was engrossed in his phone —...

4 Out of 5 Catholic Men Confess This Sin

They confess to looking at pornography and masturbating. It's awkward, I know, to say it so candidly, but the only way to defeat pornography in our lives is to admit that we have a widespread problem with it. Vice, Firmly Entrenched By the time I was in high school, the habit of lusting after women via pornography was firmly entrenched in...

The More the Merrier: Fatherhood in An Anti-Kid World

"Do you know what causes that?" "Wow, you have your hands full." "You are done now, right?" "You're overpopulating the planet!" "Are all of those yours?" "Can you afford that many?" Those are just a few of the things you'll hear from complete strangers if you have more than the nationally approved average of 1.7 children. And that doesn't include the...

#FultonFridays: The Duty of Parents

Occasionally on Fridays I will be posting excerpts from the writings of the great American bishop and media evangelist, Ven. Fulton J. Sheen. Call them #FultonFridays!  There are no juvenile delinquents; there are only delinquent parents. The Fourth Commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother," is hardly ever quoted today as the means of restoring domestic peace. If discipline in the...