A devoted father was ushered into the hospital room where his seven year-old son was near death’s door from an incurable disease. The lad seemed to sense that he would not get well.
He said, “Pa, am I going to die?”
“Why do you ask, son? Are you afraid to die?”
Looking up with trusting eyes, the boy replied, “Not if God is like you, Pa.”
The presence of fathers in the life of a child is important for the spiritual development of the child. Fathers are not simply ordinary catechists who teach us the basic doctrines of our faith and provide us with Christian formation or the discipline so necessary for growth. More than these fathers introduce us to the idea and the image of God as Father.
The experience of a loving father is important in order that we will understand the love of our father in heaven. The experience of being loved and being cared for by our earthly father is so important for growth in our love and in our intimacy with our heavenly father. It is hard to believe in the love of our Father in heaven when our experiences here with our fathers is a dreadful one It would be hard to establish intimacy with our father in heaven if our experience with our father right there in our family is one of fear.