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Fathers, follow the road of truth

By Juliana Valdez

“What shapes your life?” This was the question asked by the narrator of an ‘Evangemercial’ aired on EWTN, channel 150 recently.

The image of two roads/pathways were shown. Pointing out that our core values/beliefs are affected by culture and the ever-changing world environment, the road/pathway we choose determines the quality of our lives, physically, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually.

On one hand, there is the road/pathway where our morals go the way of societal relativism where we make up values as we go along. This we do to suit us, changing wrong to right to justify our choices. At the end of this road, he shared, what awaits us is the culture of death.

On the other hand, the other road is the one based on truth, a truth that never changes. Quoting St John Paul II, the narrator reminded us, “God who created humanity, would not stop short of showing His children wrong from right. He would never fail to provide us with what is needed to do right and so live right!”

In choosing this road of truth, he shared what awaits us is the fullness of life.

I thought then of the males in our society, especially those who have been given the blessing of fatherhood, because that is what I firmly believe it is, a blessing. So often we see many of our males choosing the road where their morals, values and attitudes are determined by their own interpretation of what is right and wrong, making up rules as they go along, being swayed and bombarded by the opinions and pressures from their contemporaries.

The incidents of domestic violence, various types of abuse, lack of maintenance for the upkeep of their offspring, abandonment resulting in no quality time being spent with those whom God has entrusted to their care, the list is never ending, show clearly the road chosen by these individuals. The one which is devoid of positive, uplifting actions!

As stated by the narrator, at the end of this road, what awaits is the culture of death.

But, we acknowledge with joy, those fathers who have embraced the way of truth, acknowledging the role with which they have been entrusted. They make every effort to lead by example, upholding the moral and spiritual values, inculcating in their offspring the rules for Christian living.

These are the fathers who, despite the negativity which abounds, are daily striving to remain on the road of truth which leads to the fullness of life.

What shapes your life, fathers? This Father’s Day, forget the material gifts. Do some soul searching instead. How and what are you contributing to your children’s life to ensure that in their decision making, they choose the pathway which leads to the fullness of life?

Maybe these quotes will help:

“Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.” —Barack Obama

“It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

—Frederick Douglas

“Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice.”

— Charles Kettering

In a society which is influenced by so many factors, the pressure on our male folk, especially fathers, is indeed great. The desire to belong or fit in influences their decision making, sometimes to the detriment of their children.

This Father’s Day, make a conscious effort to choose the pathway which leads to the fullness of life for you, and the family with which God has blessed you.

Enjoy your day, celebrate with love your blessing of fatherhood!

Editor’s note

This is the last instalment of the ‘Television Views and Comments’ column. For more than 15 years, Juliana has diligently written this column, reflecting on the faith through television and cable programmes.

She says, “It was truly enjoyable, and I appreciate the positive feedback I got from persons I have never met, from friends, parishioners and others from the islands where the Catholic News is accessed. Once again, my sincere gratitude.”

Juliana has written through four editors, beginning with Fr Michel de Verteuil CSSp. On behalf of the paper and my predecessors, thank you Juliana for your time, talent, and effort. But don’t go too far. We’ll read you on the Gospel Meditation page soon. —Raymond Syms, Editor