Monday, June 17, 2013

A Father's letter - part 1

Continuing on the theme of fathers, I share with you today part one of a letter I came across, written by a Catholic father to his sons. He shares with them 8 things he wants them to remember for the rest of their lives.....

Dear boys,
It must seem strange that I am writing you a letter.  When you finish reading this you will hopefully understand the reason.  First of all, I want you to know your mom and I love you both very much and we could not be prouder of you.  We are not perfect parents, but we have done our best to help you make your way through these difficult growing-up years and prepare for the future. As I grow older, I have gained a sense of perspective and am grateful for the ability to reflect on the many lessons I have experienced.  I appreciate the challenges I have encountered because they have helped to shape me as a man, husband and father.  I wish I could remember all of the wisdom my parents shared with me when I was your age, but I can only catch fleeting memories every now and then as the years pass.

There is so much I wish to share with you!  I want to tell you what it feels like to fall in love with the woman you will marry.  I want you to know the indescribable joy I felt when both of you came into this world.  I want you to understand the rough years I spent in the spiritual wilderness with no faith and the profound conversion experience I had when I surrendered to Christ and found the Truth I was seeking for most of my life in the Catholic Church.  The list of rich experiences and lessons is almost endless…but perhaps I will share some of them now and save the rest for future letters. So to keep it simple, here are eight things I want you to think about, pray over and hopefully remember for the rest of your lives:

1. Faith.  God loves you, no matter what.  Stay true to yourself and always love and serve Him.  Stay devoted to our Catholic faith despite all the temptations you will have from the world to leave.  Be men of prayer and observe the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation.  Never forget you were made for Heaven and not the world.
2. Values.  Your mom and I have taught you the difference between right and wrong.  Our Catholic faith has helped you learn to love your neighbor and serve others.  Never lose touch with your values-they define who you are.  Don’t be tempted to sacrifice your values for a little temporary comfort or pleasure.  It is never, ever worth it.
3. Education.  School isn’t always going to be fun.  It wasn’t for us either.  But, it is very important to have a quality education if you want to have good career options.  Never be satisfied that you know enough.  Become lifelong learners. Be insatiably curious about other people and life in general.
4. Work Ethic.  Nothing in life is truly free.  Work hard and you will be rewarded.  Pay your dues and out hustle everyone around you.  No matter what you hear later in life, I promise you there is no easy path to riches and there is no substitute for hard work.  I know, I know-this part sounds just like Papa!
                                             (part 2 - tomorrow)

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