Fr. Fox returns to his periodic 'Day in the Life' posts, but adds a further reflection:
To all you young men thinking about the priesthood: you know what this is like? I think this is like...being a dad.When I was a boy, I saw my dad go off to work, and I sometimes went with him, and I saw him at his desk, in the evening, working away; I only had a vague sense of what was so demanding. And I saw him working in the garden, and around the house...and then taking time to take the family out for dinner, for vacations, and of course we were brats, as original sin has its effect...It involves a lot of work, on my father's part, and for what? For his family! This is what a father does. It's not glamorous, it's often thankless, but he did it, and he wasn't sorry he did it, it's what fathers do. And of course, there are any number of compensations and joys, but also sorrows.Now, I don't mean to discourse on what being a father in the conventional sense means; 0thers are better suited to that. My point is, to be a priest is to be a father--that's why you're called that! And when you are a priest, and you have these days with work, and you get your share of grief, and you wonder if people appreciate what you do...then congratulations, you are a father!I can't really complain, because while I do get some difficulties and some flak, it's not really all that much, and so many have far worse things happen to them. And I get lots of moments that are gratifying: celebrating confirmation and first communion; watching the children grow up and having a share in that; seeing how hard so many people work on so many things for the parish; seeing how great the faith of so many is; realizing how many people are quietly praying for you, constantly; getting lovely notes and presents, often sacrificial; seeing various plans come together, and knowing, this will last, this will make a difference. Not earthshaking, just building something in people's lives. It's how 99% of us will make our mark, if we actually do make a difference.And there are very delicate moments, yet still so privileged. People come to you when in trouble. A divorce; a child in trouble. An infant that doesn't survive, and you are priviliged to baptize that infant but then you are asked to have the funeral. You get to see people cry with tears of pain, but also release, as they pray on such occasions, but also when they come to you for the anointing, or for confession, or they walk up for the Eucharist at Mass.You bet I say, think about being a priest! It's not the only way to make a difference, but it's a great way; and if you think, "but I want to be a husband, a father" I'm telling you, if you are a true priest of Jesus Christ, you will be. That's what a priest is.
Fr. Fox, thanks for being a great dad and giving your life for your sons and daughters. Good priests like you make my job a lot easier!