patris corde

THE MOST ENJOYABLE CHALLENGE

Patris
Corde

With a father's heart

The humiliations of Saint Joseph

About two thousand years ago, in the land of Israel, there was a father. They called him a «just man» He was a carpenter.

– One day he discovered that his fiancee was pregnant. It was not his son.

– Shortly after «the son» was born in very bad conditions. The anguish that the «just man» suffered must have been enormous.

But he clenched his teeth and did the best job of protecting him.

– Then the ruler of the place decided to attack the child’s safety. So the father decided that they all emigrate to another country where the arm of the ruler did not reach.

– In that other country nobody knew about him. He met some other emigrants and had to swallow a thousand and one humiliations to bring some money to his meager home. No one knew that he used to be a carpenter. He was an emigrant. Therefore foreigner. Badly seen, potential danger. Foreign.

– He learned of the ruler’s death and decided that the family could return to the country. But he didn’t want to risk the fate of his loved ones by returning to his town. He went to another town. And again he started from scratch.

– When the child was beginning to be a nice young man, he disappeared.

It is somewhat reminiscent of Watterson’s magnificent Calvin & Hobbes comic. Calvin disappears one day and his mother says something along the lines of “being a parent means being torn between wanting to strangle a child and wanting with all your might for him to come back safe”.

There is no news of how Saint Joseph dies. But it seems to have been an end in harmony with his life.

He is the nicest Saint.

With a father's heart

Being A Dad


Surely there is a limit to the humiliations that a father can suffer for (and from) his offspring. But we do not know where that limit is.

Being a father is very important. Not only for the son or daughter, but also for the father.

Being a father changes your life.

The subject is usually dealt with in movies. In Star Wars we all remember the drama of Luke discovering who his father is. It is not something that will leave you (and Luke) indifferent.

In the same saga, Han Solo and Leila have a son who does not meet their expectations. Or something like that. It’s like Luke’s drama but in reverse.

There is a wonderful film from Bosnia-Herzegovina called Tesko je biti fin (It’s Hard to Be Nice). In it, the protagonist discovers that his beloved son is not his, that his wife got drunk every night to cheat on him and get pregnant.

In the Avengers, Tony’s sacrifice is only possible because he is not willing to risk his daughter’s life at all. It is an internal commandment that goes with parenthood: “You will always protect your children throughout your life. That is your greatest mission.”

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