The highest and best way to love others is to apply the SALT Principle:
See others as Jesus sees them.
Accept others as Jesus accepts them.
Love others as Jesus loves them.
Touch others as Jesus touches them.
Too often we get wrapped up in our own little world, and we’re consumed with our own needs without even noticing the needs of those around us. Or we’re so exhausted at the end of each day that we can’t imagine giving out to anyone else, especially to demanding kids or a spouse who is at least as tired as we are.
We have to break this cycle, back up, regroup, and bring some sanity to our lives so we’ll have the perspective, energy, and compassion for the people we see each day, and especially those who live under the same roof with us.
Then we can love them like we love ourselves. ….
God created us to function best when we are fully devoted to Him. When we do that, each part of our lives comes into alignment – or drops away because it’s no longer important. When we fail to put God first, everything seems equally important, and we spend all our energies trying to please people, proving ourselves, or hiding from risks. God’s first commandment demands complete devotion, and it makes perfect sense. It’s the way he created us to live.
If we remain in Him, we can bear fruit from Him to give to others with a servant heart.
Our first job as a Catholic man is to get ourselves to Heaven. Then, if married, to get our families to Heaven. This provides the foundation for God working through us towards making a positive difference in the world. Here are some things to reflect on how Jesus shows us to live as a Catholic man:
Matthew 20:26-28 – Serving is greater than being served. 26But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; 27e whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. 28 Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus was on mission with God’s vision for having and sharing a servants heart. His leadership / lifestyle comes from the actions that supplemented His words.
Proverbs 31:8-9 – Use our gifts and authority for others. 8Open your mouth in behalf of the mute, and for the rights of the destitute; 9Open your mouth, judge justly, defend the needy and the poor!
Look for your neighbors in need, and try to connect with helping them develop. Imagine the investment you would be making using the advantage you have to lift another person up.
Matthew 7:7 – Offer our acceptance. 7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Many times in Jesus’ life He was know to accept people who approached Him, and the way they should go. Like Jesus, we should not be selective and never force someone to change, but encourage and pray for them to keep seeking God’s transformation in their life.
John 8:7, 10-11 – Provide others grace. 7But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. 10Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.”
The one thing about offering someone grace is it opens for them to reflect on their own heart instead of to defend an accusation. The result from this brings freedom from bondage with a fruitful repentant heart.
Luke 23:34 – Be compassionate towards people. 34[Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”] They divided his garments by casting lots.
Compassion was the foundation for Jesus’ ability to forgive. This requires for us a connection to the Father, as Jesus did nothing without the will of the Father. Think of the relationships and broken places in your life, and pray to find compassion and for Jesus to meet you there.
1 Corinthians 13:3 – Serve as Jesus did. 3If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Jesus made our giving possible because He became our vine. If we remain in Him, we can bear fruit from Him to give to others with a servant heart. Because we have been served, we can now serve as Jesus did, and live the goodness of a Catholic man.
Books help us “Listen to the Lord” for ways that we can continue our Mission in manhood
“I have read three books thus far during this COVID-19 lockdown and am starting a fourth. Good reading is food for the soul. The Daughters of St. Paul offer a healthy menu of reading material for any Catholic wishing to fill in the time that’s on our hands, find tips from the lives of the saints, feed meditation and keep us abreast soberly with issues affecting the Church and the Christian lifestyle today.”
Bishop Joseph Perry
+JMJ+ Easter Greetings, We hope that you are doing well, and getting some extra time to pray and do some things that you wouldn’t get a chance to if things were all “normal” in the world…
Here at Pauline Books & Media, we are praying more and trying to “listen to the Lord” for ways that we can continue our Mission in spite of limited travel, the new sanctions of “social-distancing” and closing the door to our downtown bookstore. We are so sorry that the major impact of the “stay-at-home” regulations happened right before your scheduled Men’s Conference on April 18.
Hopefully, the group has been able to stay in contact through email, and social media and support one another with messages and prayers. We Sisters have added an extra Hour of Adoration each day to pray for everyone; including all those whom we would have met through our outreach evangelization events. So, please be assured that you and the Men of the Southland Forum have not been forgotten; and share daily in our prayers.
In case anyone in the group is interested in getting resources for themselves or inspirational gifts we are “open” for call-in orders during our normal hours of operation (M-Sat, 10 am to 6 pm — we now pray from 5-5:30 pm).
Habits are an important part of our lives, when put in right perspective. Just like in the business world, systems are another word for business habits. It is said the fastest way to success in life, is to replace bad habits with good habits.
As Catholic men, we know that whatever we feed our brains is what forms our habits. Our Faith promotes through the sacraments a method to develop the good habit of study and living the scriptures everyday.
The daily readings feed us like a dinner plate of different foods: Old Testament, Psalms, New Testament, and prayers for adoration and supplication. But we have to develop the habits and spend time with it each day, and then practice it in our lives. Baby steps lead to walking our spiritual journey with the Lord.
When we make the decision to go off this path, and do things in our own thinking, it is known as sin. Feeding our habits with things like pornography, too much booze, abuse of others verbally or physically, or getting sucked into the drama of things shared on social media, can take us to a visit with our priest for confession. The good thing is that God is a God of second chances.
But the thing about second chances is we have to make the corrections so that we don’t keep going back. As Henry Ford once said, “Failure is an opportunity to begin again, only more intelligently”. Our shortcomings serve the purpose to embrace God and depend on His will for our lives.
Feeding our good habits, with Christ as the center of our lives, is what helps to transform our bad habits into virtues, and is what makes working towards being a saint is all about.
Pray this each day, whether or not you are employed.
O God, Father of us all, You bestow on us gifts and talents to develop and use in accord with your Will and to advance your kingdom on earth. Grant to me, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, the man chosen by God to care for you in your childhood and youth, employment and work that I may with dignity provide for my family. Grant me the opportunities to use my energy and abilities for the good of those who depend upon me for care and support. You placed me in charge of this family. I beseech your assistance in helping me provide for them as you would have me do. You are our God and head of this family. Amen
How to experience the journey of spiritual transformation.
It is said, as I shared in my last post, that if you start to spend ten minutes to an hour a day with your own thoughts, it will take up to sixty days before you remove all the clutter and eventually can start the hour thinking about yesterday and today!
I have found this to be so true!
Silence can be scary, I know. Especially when you haven’t done it in a while, or you may have thoughts of it causing your skeletons in the closet to come to the surface of things.
This is where prayer comes in.
It is like walking through the forest or woods. At first you notice the beauty of the trees, and how the sunlight interplays with the branches. Then as you walk down the trail, and listen to the birds and sounds of nature, your brain starts to shift to the peacefulness as your surroundings fall into the background.
Things start to enter your brain about your deeper thoughts that do not have a chance to surface because of all the distractions in life. The secret here is to seek what God says about these thoughts.
How do you learn to understand the Word of God? By reading it and by trusting the Holy Spirit.
Reading the Word of God can be as Fr. Larry Richards says “Bible before breakfast and Bible before bed”, or it can be just spending time with the daily Mass readings. The important thing is to put our thoughts in right perspective, because when we remove the Word of God from our lives we can feel overwhelmed and on our own.
Remember that God uses people and our circumstances to do His work. This is all a journey, and not a destination.
Check out this 2-minute video where Father Burke Masters shares his journey from knowing to believing his true identity in Christ. You may recall he shared something like this with us at our Men’s Forum a few years ago.
The world can have us confused in everyday life about our true identity as men. It can be from what we do for a living, to our image through the things we own. We may love God, but do we truly have Christ in our hearts?
Once we experience the journey of allowing God to transform our us, we begin to see our lives, and the world, through His eyes and our true identity as a child of God. And this can only come through the silence of deep thinking and prayer.
How living our faith and doing God’s will helps us through difficult times
The theme of the entire New Testament is that the infinite God has shown Himself to us in Christ. Faith thus starts with God who through Jesus opens his heart to us and invites us to share in his own divine life. Faith does not simply provide information about who Jesus is. Rather, our faith involves a personal relationship with Christ, a surrender of our whole person with all our understanding, our will and feelings, to God’s self-revelation of Himself to us.
Bishop Joseph Perry
“Faith is not a contract. Faith is surrender. If no other relationship in our experience is one of self-surrender, if it’s all contractual, people won’t know how to believe.”
Francis Cardinal George
“The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it…. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
C. S. Lewis
It’s really very simple. Am I building up the kingdom of heaven or am I building up my own kingdom? Am I putting God’s name first and proclaiming His name, or am I proclaiming my name? Am I doing everything for God’s glory, or for my glory? We have to focus on this every day. If I am going to live God’s will, it has to be because I first seek the kingdom. Then He promises everything else will fall into place.
Fr. Larry Richards, Surrender! The Life-Changing Power of Doing God’s Will
God’s will is almost always much tougher to do than our will. It requires more effort, more discipline, and it yields much less instant gratification. Most unpleasant of all, doing God’s will requires us to surrender our position as the center of the universe (at least in our own minds). We have to put God at the center of the universe and direct our attention toward Him, rather than sit on our little imaginary thrones and expect others to direct their attention toward us.
Deacon John Rangel
”What this means is if we are going to do the will of God, every day is going to be a day of self-sacrifice. Again, to make this real and practical I tell people that they should examine their consciences every night before they go to bed and ask, “Did I do at least one act of unselfishness today? Did I give my life away at least once today?” If the answer is no, then they squandered the whole day on themselves, only did what they wanted, only took care of themselves. What a waste of a day!
Fr. Larry Richards, Surrender! The Life-Changing Power of Doing God’s Will
Be Pure. Hate evil. Embrace Christ with all your heart! Too many of us men need to surrender our personal agenda to God. We must strive to be transparent with God and with others, and to be more like Christ and less like our old selves.