The Chief Work of Every True Father Among Men is to Create a Home



by Father Bernard O’Reilly, True Men as We Need Them

It is clear, from all this, that after the salvation of one’s own soul, which must underlie the aims, thoughts, and actions of every Christian man, what is chiefly to be the end of every true father’s efforts, is the building up and sanctifying of a home; or the maintaining and perfecting it in all honor, peace, prosperity, and happiness, where it exists.

This is, in God’s design and under His expressly declared will, the first and chief object of a true man’s solicitude.

Thus, while the divine Architect of the universe, conjointly with the angels who are the ministers of his fatherly providence over us, and with all true men who are laboring in conformity to the divine will—is preparing in heaven a dwelling-place for all his faithful children, more magnificent than human intelligence can conceive of—even so must you, beneath His eye, blessed and aided by him and his Angels, set about rearing your home or making of it the image here below of that House of God on high.

Your House of God, where, in the words of St. Bernard, all shall be “Truth, and Love and Eternity”—truth in your faith and your life, charity in your dealings with your household and all outside of it, and eternity so far as you can secure it, in the independence gained for your dear ones, in the spirit of faith and honor which you bequeath to them, in the very homestead itself which is to be a lasting center for their children’s children.

Make the Earthly Home Like the Heavenly

Nor, in the place of Him who, true Father as He is, knows no acceptation of persons, is this primary and all-important duty of providing, maintaining, and brightening the family home, the exclusive duty of the great and the rich.

There is not a poor laboring-man, who makes it his care to procure shelter, food, and raiment for his dear ones, that is not obliged to aim at having his own home for them, and of making that home an image of heaven.

There is not a youth who takes on himself the responsibilities of husband, who binds to his own lot the young wife of his choice—who does not thereby bind himself to separate her from the whole world, to give her a home of her own, where she shall be sole mistress and queen.

Whether you be of high or of low degree, a man of wealth or a poor man depending on the earning of each day, whether advanced in years and with much experience of life’s difficulties, or just setting your foot on the path—be earnest in your resolution to work in building up your home, and with it the honor and happiness of a family, and sing in your heart as you begin the effort of each new day and hour!

This is the Golden Rule of life for all of us, men of the world, or ministers of God’s sacraments, to set our hands earnestly and joyously to the joint work God appoints us to do— To build up True Christian Homes!

Christian Homes, the Great Need of the Age

The teaching and guidance of the priest are intended also as a help to fathers of families—from those who rule States, to those who are the lowliest and poorest. The help of the governing classes, in their turn, as well as of the wealthy, is, by the law of Christian charity, due to their dependent and fortuneless brethren.

So that the whole effort of religion and of the most favored members of the social body, should aim at assisting the poor man to create for himself a home, and to adorn it with all the best virtues of fatherhood.

This is the need of the age. We must have true Christian fathers and true Christian homes. Socialism and Communism present a frightful caricature of the helpful brotherly love which is the soul and the bond of unity in all States obeying the law of the Gospel.

The earnest and successful labors of the directing classes to inculcate parental duty, to practice and enforce the sweet home-virtues, and especially to aid the laboring-man in securing for himself the privacy and the sanctities of home-life, constitute the only efficacious corrective to the pestilential errors of communistic declaimers and conspirators.

The Creation of the Home a Joint Labor

The charity which we thus urge upon the men of our day is not the exercise of a new virtue, nor the application of a new remedy to social evils unheard of till now.

The very birds of the air, the very insects in the field would teach mankind how to make of the creation of the home a joint labor, and a labor of love as well. To be sure, we know that it is the special part of a man to provide a home for his companion and their children, as well as to labor for its support and to watch over its security.

We are here talking not only of the house which shelters the family, but of the love which brightens and warms it, and of all the admirable virtues that should make its chief ornament.

Even in the building up of the material walls, the poor man’s wife will have to be most frequently his loving assistant, while in all the affections and virtues that make it a paradise, both have to contribute a generous share.

“Many times God allows it to be hard to pray, simply to school us in applying our wills, to teach us that the value of prayer does not depend on the amount of emotion we can whip up. So when ‘Time for prayers’ is greeted with moans and groans, it’s time to explain that saying prayers when you least want to, simply because you love God and have a kind of dry respect and a sense of obedience, is to gain the greatest merit for them. Many times the saints had trouble getting excited about prayers, but they said them, because prayers were due and their value had nothing to do with how eagerly they went about saying them.” -Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children http://amzn.to/2snNxN7 (afflink)

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