What is the responsibility of fatherhood? For this, we look to God Himself. It is constant self-sacrifice, constant fidelity, constant love. It is not that we assert authority over women, it's not that we treat children like property. That is not the way of Jesus. Rather, Jesus showed us what the vocation of fatherhood, inherent in all men, truly looks like: it looks like the Cross. It looks like St. Peter, crucified upside down. It looks like St. Paul, tortured and beheaded. It looks like St. Joseph, giving of himself for God, his wife and his people. It looks like Pope John Paul II, consumed with Parkinson's Disease, but still bravely leading the Church in this time of great persecution and constant schism. Its rewards are not immediately visible, just as the Resurrection was not immediately visible to those who witnessed the Cross. But this is what we are called to. A self-giving vocation, not a self-serving function. A faithful love, not an unfaithful selfishness.
Thoughts worth pondering from Nathan, with whom I've been discussing/debating President Bush's pro-life record, on "The Greatest Divorce of All" and the vocation of husbands and fathers.