Father's Day advice from a Father with no children

At the end of all the Masses this weekend I'll invite the fathers present to stand and we'll pray over them with these words from the Book of Blessings:

God our Father,
in your wisdom and love you made all things.
Bless these men,
that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers.

Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.
Grant that we, their sons and daughters,
may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
My own father was a good, loving, hard-working, faithful provider and protector of his family. But as I observe dads with their sons today, I see a kind of relationship I wish my father and I might have shared, a closeness that seemed to escape us in spite of the love I know he had for me and I had for him. Times have changed and parenting roles are different than what I remember growing up - and so much of what I see is very good, indeed.

So, on Father's Day weekend, here are some reflections and a little advice from one who has no children but who is called "Father" by many:

What Fathers Day means depends so much 
   on our relationship to dads.

We all have fathers: some are with us and some have died;
   some will celebrate today, others will grieve.

Some men are fathers, others want to be fathers
   and still others struggle with that dream not coming true.

Every mother has a unique relationship 
   with the father of her children.

Some fathers have sons who are fathers themselves.

Some sons and daughters have good relationships with their dads
   while others, unfortunately, don't.

Some men mourn the loss of a child who called them, "Dad."

Some men are called "Father" but have no children of their own.

Some fathers are honored today, some are ignored,
   some are unknown and, sadly, some are forgotten...

Dads, you can't too often tell your children how much you love them.

You can't too many times hug them tight or kiss them good night.

There's no limit on how many times
   you can take each of your children, individually,
      for a walk, a talk, a ride or an ice cream cone.

Make sure you call your children by name
   and have special names for each of them.

Be a father whose thoughts, words and deeds
   set a standard for his daughters and sons. 

If you have a boy, be sure he hears you call him son
   in a way that lets them know
      how happy and proud you are to be his father.

A son waits, even without knowing it,
   for his father's blessing on who he is and who he will become:
      find a hundred thousand ways to give your son that blessing.

In her father, a daughter learns how a man loves a woman
   through how he loves his wife and his girls:
      be the best of teachers for the women in your life...

And make sure your children know that you're a man of faith
   who believes in the God Jesus called his Father.

Pray with your children at home: at table, at night before bed,
   when times are hard and when times are great.

Pray with your children at church on Sunday
   and share with them the place God has in your heart.

A father's relationship with his children
   is one of the great untapped natural and spiritual resources 
      of the universe!

There's love and power and blessing in the hearts of fathers, 
   waiting to flood the hearts of families in every place and culture.

Too many dads come to the end of their lives 
   wishing they'd done more of this or less of that, 
      with and for their children.

Be a father who will look back on his life with thanks 
   for how God's grace helped you to be a good and loving dad.

Be sure of this: 
   your children want you to be the dad that you, 
      in your heart of hearts, want to be for them.

Happy Father's Day!

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