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Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
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I felt like an orphan, but when I became a father, I rediscovered my own father

Aleteia - published on 11/21/19

God gave a father and son a chance to heal their relationship

If there’s one thing that was clear for Lou, it was that he wanted to become the opposite of his own father. This is why he wanted the number 41 on his football uniform: His father’s number had been 14.

His parents’ separation when he was a child wounded him, and when he was an adolescent his resentment towards his father exploded: His dad got remarried and lived a peaceful life, while Lou’s mother fell ill and she and Lou had to live in a homeless shelter. Lou had to work the late shift to take home something to eat. “My father sought me out, but I rejected any relationship.”

Everything changed when Lou, in turn, became a father. He contacted his father, and one day he invited him to his home: “I opened my heart completely, and said, ‘I forgive you, I love you, I understand you.’” Now, as a father, “I understand his attempts and how he must have felt because of my rejection.” They had a long talk, and Lou walked him to his bedroom. For the first time, Lou kissed him goodnight.

“I said, ‘I love you dad,’ and that was the last thing that I got to say to him.” That very night, his father died. “God gave us that opportunity to connect and forgive. There was so much time where I spent fighting him, and not loving him, that I wasted a lot of years… But when you forgive, you can finally live free!” Today, he says, “I feel him closer than ever, as if he were always with me.”

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