Manhood Monday: Striving Towards Virtue

Your weekly dose of “Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man”.

From Today’s Readings:

Alleluia PHIL 2:15D, 16A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

The Gospel for today shares how we are not to cause anyone to sin. And when others do sin, and repent, to forgive them.

This is a way to strive towards virtue.

The word saint literally means “holy,” and, broadly speaking, are all of us who follow Jesus Christ and live our lives according to His teaching.

Catholics, however, also use the term narrowly to refer to especially holy men and women who, through extraordinary lives of virtue, have already entered Heaven.

One of the best ways to pursue holiness is to follow the saints of the Church, who many were born with shortcomings and transformed them into virtues or goodness.

In other words, some have said that saints are sinners who did not give up trying, which, for us, might make them easier to relate to. This relates to the instructions of forgiveness in the Gospel and that their “shortcomings” were not transformed through their efforts alone.

This is where CMCSVirtues comes from, to hold onto the saints as we strive to live a life of virtue.

The CMCS-Team


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo: ‘God in the World‘ Copyright Frank J Casella

Having faith sometimes is like looking into the clouds and seeing nothing, and yet other times like seeing colors in the sky.

There are circumstances where we have lack of faith, and other times where our faith has saved us.

The important thing, I think, is to learn from each what either didn’t work or what did. So that we can do better tomorrow.

Our purpose on earth, to those of us who believe, is to bring hope to the poor in spirit, and thus foster our own poverty through living out our faith …. and get each other to Heaven.

Thanks for Reading.

Make it a great week. See you in you here again next Monday.

Frank J Casella,
CMCS Executive Director

A larger collection of photographs can be viewed on my portfolio.

Not signed up yet? Click here.

The Domestic Church: How to ‘Walk the Talk’

The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called “the domestic church,” a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.  — CCC 1666

There are thousands of men in our Chicagoland parishes needing help in how to “walk the talk.”  Catholic Men Chicago Southland helps us in our walk as Catholic men, fathers, husbands, and grandparents. Being a resource to educate, support, and strengthen households is the mission of CMCS.

Here are some more examples about ‘the domestic church’ from the Catholic Catechism:

1655    Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than “the family of God.” From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers “together with all [their] household.”166 When they were converted, they desired that “their whole household” should also be saved.167 These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in an unbelieving world. (759)

1656    In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestica.168 It is in the bosom of the family that parents are “by word and example… the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation.”169 (2204)

1657    It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way “by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity.”170 Thus the home is the first school of Christian life and “a school for human enrichment.”171 Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous—even repeated—forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one’s life. (1268, 2214-2231, 2685)

1658    We must also remember the great number of single persons who, because of the particular circumstances in which they have to live—often not of their choosing—are especially close to Jesus’ heart and therefore deserve the special affection and active solicitude of the Church, especially of pastors. Many remain without a human family, often due to conditions of poverty. Some live their situation in the spirit of the Beatitudes, serving God and neighbor in exemplary fashion. The doors of homes, the “domestic churches,” and of the great family which is the Church must be open to all of them. “No one is without a family in this world: the Church is a home and family for everyone, especially those who ‘labor and are heavy laden.’”172 (2231, 2233)

Please keep room in your prayers for struggling men, believing families, and for all Catholic men (in Chicagoland) to live out the CMCS motto: “Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man”.

Manhood Monday: How to Know the Truth

Your weekly dose of “Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man”.

From Today’s Readings:

Alleluia JN 8:31B-32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Sin is doing what we want without God. 

Freedom is not about doing what we want, rather to have the ability to do the right thing.

But how do we know how to keep from sin, and to do the right thing? 

God’s Word.

The only way to ‘Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man’ is to know the truth with discipleship in Christ

The CMCS-Team contributed to this message


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo: ‘Backyard Morning in the Fall‘ by Frank J Casella All Rights Reserved

Each of the seasons bring with it elements and details of art created by God.

Life is too short, and the scenes of Fall colors from this year will be different next year, as they are different from last year.

Often times I feel that God is just waiting for us to show up to take part in the moment with Him.

Thanks for Reading.

Make it a great week. See you here again next Monday.

Frank J Casella,
CMCS Executive Director

A larger collection of photographs can be viewed on my portfolio.

Not signed up yet? Click here.

Taking it all in stride

God’s will is that we depend on Him.

Taking things in your stride means, as you go along the bumpy road of life, which most people will inevitably experience, you endeavor not to let the more challenging events you encounter blow you off course.

Much of the strength I get to take things in stride is through my faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. Just because I am a Christian doesn’t mean I don’t have problems. In fact, I probably have more. Because people it seems test you to see the power of your belief.

Anger, worry, struggles and the like are revelations that things are not going our way, and that we are not in control of everything. When I take things in stride, and wait on God and meet Him where He is at work (in my life), it’s always amazing how things unfold and come together in ways that I could never do myself.

Try it. Pray for your circumstances. Ask God to show you what to do. Wait for the answer. Don’t take it back … just wait … in HIS time not yours. You will see.

God’s will is that we depend on Him. So keep it all in perspective and take in all in stride.

Frank J Casella

Bishop Joseph Perry: Our Families

Each day gives us a moment to contemplate our families and what we really want them to be… to ask the blessing of God who has brought us together and appointed each one of us to be in this family.

Referencing  our religious roots … in Jesus’ day… each member of the family did something to produce food, practically the only industry.  Carpenters like Joseph would have spent as much, if not more, time building or repairing farming implements.  Jesus would have learned his father’s trade.  Jewish society was a lot simpler than anything we know.  From the moment they were physically able, children worked.  The men ploughed and planted, made repairs, shepherded the flocks and whatever else was needed.  Boys stayed with the men learning the crafts and trades of their fathers and other men in the family.  Girls stayed with the women learning how to turn wool into cloth and grain into flour.

In Jesus day, people lived in very small dwellings in extended family groups. They survived only by recognizing that their survival depended upon each other.  They lived in the same rooms, ate and worked together, prayed together.  It was the values of their religion that created their strongest bonds. Except for daughters who married, few left the home.

Our scriptures and church teaching emphasize the need for exemplary behavior on each our part in order to survive.  This call to proper daily behavior is a Call rooted in faith.  A strong family relies on its faith to guide and direct it.

A family is a living, breathing organism.  Members of the family live off each other; they cope, assist each other and aggravate each other.  They make the best of a situation; they invest in it, get to like it, maybe even need it.  Sometimes families live with situations they shouldn’t; and make bad human investments; and learn to tolerate unlikable things.

Families must be flexible, but within limits. Nothing is ever what it used to be, nor is it entirely different.  Each member needs room to grow.  Families need to expect change and crises as a way of life.  Our Church teaches that the purposes of marriage are mutual love and raising children.  Love is always stretched.  We have to discover new ways to express old love or loved ones begin to feel taken for granted. And children are naturally bundles of constant change. This makes the family a change agent, a growth industry!

Sometimes, families need to face the truth, to avoid a future catastrophe by bearing a present pain or embarrassment.  We need to allow ourselves to be in trouble.  If Mary was found a pregnant teen and Jesus was a runaway teen then we are allowed a scandal or two in the family.  A good rule in family life – all life – is to play the problem where it lies.  We almost always make it worse by trying to improve on our lie.

And, of course, families, like individuals, live on appreciation, without which even the best arrangements fall apart.  Because the family is not an institution; it is an occasion if not an unfolding drama of love.

We worry about our families.  We desire our children to have the best influences, the best education and a reasonable walk through adult life free of trauma and pain if at all possible. We want our families to be wrapped in the blessings of God.  These are good things to ask for.  For these reasons we fall to our knees asking God to keep us in His care.•

Bishop Joseph N. Perry

JNP 2009