Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Every family needs a father -- a father who shares in his family's joy and pain, hands down wisdom to his children and offers them firm guidance and love, Pope Francis said. Being a father is not easy since it takes lots of patience and grace, he said. "But what consolation, what a reward one receives when the children honor this legacy. It is a joy that more than makes up for the hard work, that overcomes every misunderstanding and heals every wound," the pope said at his general audience Feb. 4. In a series of talks on the family, the pope continued the second part of his reflection on the role of fathers. While his last audience talk looked at the risks and problems caused by fathers who are absent or fail their family, the day's talk focused on the importance and dignity of fatherhood. Speaking to some 7,000 people gathered in the Paul VI audience hall, the pope spelled out the essential, but demanding, things it takes to be a good father. The most important is being present, first by being by his wife's side "to share everything, joy and pain, hard work and hope" and by being there for his children as they grow, he said.