The saving gift of fatherhood – Catholic News Service

I expected fatherhood to change the routines of my life. Everyone told me it would. Goodbye, sleep. Hello, collapsing in exhaustion at 8 p.m. What I did not suppose was the way fatherhood would be an occasion for conversion. Not that I was some sort of irreligious knave. I taught theology at the University of Notre Dame. I attended daily Mass as often as possible. I spent years as a catechist for middle school students. The source of my unrighteousness was the absence of a disposition of solidarity. In every dimension of my life, I thought only of myself. At work, I focused on the trajectory of my career and where I was going in the future. There were ladders to climb, and I wanted to be on them. It did not matter if climbing that ladder meant stepping on the heads of my colleagues. An unkind word here or there to the right person, and I would be elevated in the eyes of my superior. When students were struggling in class, I thought only about the misery they wrought on me. You did not turn in your assignment on time! You thought that was a paper acceptable to write! On not a few occasions, I failed students in class with a hidden albeit perverse joy. I pompously shared the worst things my students wrote, delighting that I could shine light on what I believed to be their idiocy. And then my son was born.

The saving gift of fatherhood – Catholic News Service

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