Two years ago my father-in-law gave me the book “Be a Man” by Fr. Larry Richards. This is one of my favorite books and I have read it multiple times. Fr. Richards explains that to “be a man” we are to live as the son of God, be strong, be faithful and be committed. Essentially, we need to “grow a pair” (sorry), man-up and have a strong backbone.
Fr. Richards explains that one of the ways we are to “Be a Man” is to be a man who is Holy. Since my vocation is marriage I have to do everything in my possible will to make it so my wife and children get to Heaven. Not only do I have to be a strong example, a good teacher, a loving husband and father but I also need to put my family in situations that allow them to grow and practice their faith. Well, today I blew it.
Typically, our family goes to 8am Sunday Mass and my wife and I have a pretty good system for getting our three kids awake, fed, everyone showered, dressed and out the door. Normally, we have a relaxing drive to Mass and I enjoy that time to reflect on where we are in the liturgical calendar and the day’s readings. But this morning I was moving a bit slow. Although I got the kids fed I decided to make them a bigger breakfast than normal and allowed them to watch a little bit of TV so I could read an interesting article I came across online. Meanwhile, my wife is doing her due diligence in our typical Sunday morning routine. Although the article I read was very interesting it was way too long and now it is getting late. So I gasped when I saw the clock and ran the kids upstairs to get them dressed while proceeding to negotiate with them because I seemed to have selected clothing they all clearly disagreed with. So I left it to Sarah, my wife, to fix it so I can start to get ready. With less than 5 minutes before the start of Mass we jumped in the car and drove to Mass and walked in during the Gloria. We were late. But that is not exactly where I missed the mark. When we got to Mass my mind was not on the Mass and I assume that would be the same for my wife. It took us until after the homily to finally relax but I had no idea what just happened before. I didn’t listen to the readings and my mind was wandering. Then I sat there in guilt because I was not a man who allowed my family to get to Mass on time and with clear minds. This is not being a man who is Holy.
If I am to “Be a Man” who is to create the best situation for my family to practice and grow in their Catholic faith then I failed today. A strong man is someone who puts his whole family first and not himself. The article I read in the morning could have waited or I could have woken up 15 minutes earlier.
~Be a Man and God Bless.~