By Sister Mary Louise

Sister Mary Louise with her older sister and her dad.

Sister Mary Louise with her older sister and her dad.

I can honestly say that as a little girl, my daddy was my hero. He was strong; he could throw me high in the air and catch me every time as I came down. He was solicitous and creative; he made doll houses, sandboxes, swings and even a play castle complete with turrets you could actually climb. He was hansom and romantic; I used to love to see him embrace and kiss my mom. He was chivalrous. I remember when he rescued me after I had accidentally walked barefoot into a patch of prickly pine needles. How tenderly he removed each one from my tiny toes! And he was valiant; he fought cancer with courage and determination.

In countless ways he showed his love for me and my siblings until his death, just a few months after his thirty-ninth birthday. We still have the homemade Valentine he insisted on making us just days before his loving fatherly heart was taken into the eternal embrace of the One from Whom all fatherhood comes.

God is not like a loving father. Rather, it is the other way around. A good daddy resembles who God is. I know that sadly many men fall very short of being an icon of God the Father and countless children are not blessed with the memories and experiences I enjoy. But that doesn’t change the reality of God’s perfect, tender love and attention to all His children. And even the very best papa isn’t meant to show the fullness of fatherhood here on earth. That fullness belongs to Our Father Who art in Heaven.