Manhood Monday: Firstfruits of a New Creation

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

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Alleluia JAS 1:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Father willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

* [1:18] Acceptance of the gospel message, the word of truth, constitutes new birth (Jn 3:56) and makes the recipient the firstfruits (i.e., the cultic offering of the earliest grains, symbolizing the beginning of an abundant harvest) of a new creation; cf. 1 Cor 15:20Rom 8:23.

For just as the Church cannot survive without the sacramental priesthood, so too, the father is an essential element of a healthy family. Fathers have a significant spiritual impact on their (and all men with) children precisely because of their unique role in the order of creation.

God bless your day.

Catholic Men Chicago Southland Apostolate (CMCS)


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Architecture at the Quigley Center of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. The far left statue looks like St. Paul; the middle one St. Thomas More and the far right one St. Aloysius Gonzaga.

While dining with sinners, Jesus was dreaming of their becoming saints.

Ike Reighard

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim” (CCC 2130).

Thanks for Reading.

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

Frank J Casella,
CMCS Executive Director

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


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Please Donate What You Can

We rely on contributions from readers and members of our community to keep Catholic Chicago Men Blog free. If you’d like to pay what you can for the service, we’d greatly appreciate it. These contributions touch the lives of many and help us keep investing in new technologies and better content.

Thank you for being the best part of Catholic Chicago Men Blog! Your contributions make a difference. On behalf of Bishop Joseph Perry, and all of us at Catholic Men Chicago Southland, and all of those that will be helped, thank you.

Love Neighbor. Love God.

Love is the only thing that can conquer hate.

Watch this video for the Gospel Daily Reflection for Saturday July 18, 2020.

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. To become configured to be more like Jesus.

Jesus shows us that instead of cutting people down to carry out injustice, reach out to those who know their need for healing and forgiveness. Prayer should lead us to the depths of loving and serving others.

To do this, instead of taking action for justice Jesus first withdrew, as should we to address our own need for healing our own wounds.

Love is the only thing that can conquer hate, darkness, and intolerance.

hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. . . . The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. . . . and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love.

Martin Luther King

Thankfully God doesn’t cancel us, He redeems us.

Manhood Monday: Faithful In the Journey

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

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Alleluia PS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

* [Psalm 95] Twice the Psalm calls the people to praise and worship God (Ps 95:126), the king of all creatures (Ps 95:35) and shepherd of the flock (Ps 95:7a7b). The last strophe warns the people to be more faithful than were their ancestors in the journey to the promised land (Ps 95:7c11). This invitation to praise God regularly opens the Church’s official prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours.

When we stand before God, we will be accountable for our own lives, not for our ancestors

Reverend Franklin Graham

So many children are growing up in broken families, which causes great trauma. The devil loves to attach to our traumas and cause us to do things we don’t really want to do. That is why healing is such an important piece of what the world needs today. Without healing, these traumas get passed on from one generation to the next and they get worse. I believe that broken marriages and fatherlessness, which causes deep trauma, is the root cause for many of our societal ills today.

Fr. Burke Masters

God bless your day.

Catholic Men Chicago Southland Apostolate (CMCS)


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo: ‘The Door of our Hearts‘ – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella

No man has ever risen to the real stature of spiritual manhood until he has found that it is finer to serve somebody else than it is to serve himself.

Woodro Wilson

Many of us lock the front doors to our houses, but do we do the same with our hearts?

When we fail to be open and welcoming, we fall to legalism and judgement, to name a few.

The paradox of leadership, both in the workplace and at home, is to ask what it means to be servants of those under us.

When we take the time to do the most humble tasks, we become a better leader, and find ourselves in the process.

Thanks for Reading.

Make it a great week. See you back 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.

Please Donate What You Can

We rely on contributions from readers and members of our community to keep Catholic Chicago Men Blog free. If you’d like to pay what you can for the service, we’d greatly appreciate it. These contributions touch the lives of many and help us keep investing in new technologies and better content.

Thank you for being the best part of Catholic Chicago Men Blog! Your contributions make a difference. On behalf of Bishop Joseph Perry, and all of us at Catholic Men Chicago Southland, and all of those that will be helped, thank you.

Responding to Change

Seeking solutions to changes and conflict in your life.

Photo: ‘Blue Chicago Blizzard‘ – Copyright 2012 Frank J Casella

All human relationships include change and conflict. The key is to learn constructive methods for reaching a resolution when change happens.

Whether it’s work or family, marriage or friendships, health matters, our culture, or the many conflicts in our war-torn world, it is more productive to tap into identifying our emotions in times of change, and then accept them – to seek God’s direction in what we are feeling – rather than bottle it up.

I share this from experience. And most of this article is what I have personally learned about, and from, change in my life. You may want to share your own experiences in the comments section below.

Dr. Gary Chapman asks “Is your personality an asset or liability to your relationships and the world around you? The Psalms show us how to express our feelings and emotions, and the Holy Spirit plays an important roll in this. While our personalities are developed in childhood, they are not set in stone. We can change.”

“The message of the Bible is that God loves us as we are”, says Chapman, “but he loves us too much to leave us as we are.” We all need to grow and growth requires change. We can be influenced by our personality, but we need not be controlled by it.

Instead, we are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 4, St. Paul tells us, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds.” When we yield to the power of the Holy Spirit significant changes in our approach to life and relationships will become evident. But the key as men is to leave it with the Holy Spirit and not take it back as soon as we feel it out of control, or the situation not going as we think it should. But most of all, don’t lose hope.

As Catholic men who are task minded, our deeper question might be where is change? Where do I want to end up? It’s not only the change but considering the thought of change. In seeking a deeper understanding, I may have to drop what I believe to accept something new.

Responding to change means to spend time in the quiet presence of the Holy Spirit, to consult the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible, and learn from the magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church – which is the church’s authority or office to give authentic interpretation of the Word of God.

Responding to change does not mean to listen to what others or our culture say what’s important, without mentioning the (sources from the) Holy Spirit. The thing about (men’s) spirituality is that it cannot be measured. Thus some forms of spirituality can deceive us if we’re not tapped into the Holy Spirit seeking wisdom and direction for the truth.

In other words, I’m sure you are aware how there are people in circles of the church who share their own theology so to speak, who don’t provide the sources of church teaching from what they are saying about the Holy Spirit, meditation or contemplation, etc.. (do an internet search on them and see if there is much controversy and what is said about them). This can be compared to how a news reporter may say ‘sources tell us’ without sharing who those sources are (this no longer means what it used to) – don’t listen to them!

For example, some people I follow on Catholic Manhood are (not in any order): Matt Fradd, Bishop Thomas Olmstead, Fr. Larry Richards, Randy Hain, Sam Guzman, Brian Caulfield, Bill Dodds, Hector Molina, Patrick McCaskey, Fr. Burke Masters, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, and of course our own Bishop Joseph Perry. Many Catholic men also follow: Dr. Gary Chapman, Dr. Charles Stanley, Dr. Tony Evans, and Dr. Meg Meeker, to name a few. You can also consult our growing Catholic Books post.

Change Begins With Me

Begin by changing your own attitude. Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle in your own heart. Say to God “If you give me a vision of what a spiritual change in my life will look like, then I’m willing to make the changes.” Then read the Bible and other Catholic resources and look for passages that tell you what this change should be.

Think. Prepare. Action. – It happens with focus. It doesn’t happen with information, from head to heart.

Every day do something that will make you better, and ask God to help you live up to this model. The fastest way to success, is to replace bad habits with good habits. If we hear but don’t change our behavior, we’re then essentially fooling ourselves. It’s when we put God’s guidance into action that transforming change can take place.

Say to yourself: “To see changes happening in my life, it begins with me.”

There is always something left to love. And the worse things are, the more there is to love. In Christ, God has assured us of his love, his acceptance, his understanding, his peace at all times – especially when times are the dreariest and the most hopeless God asks us who would be his holy people to be as ready as God is to lift up, to forgive, to support, to love every man.

Bishop Joseph Perry

The hope is in that of having a positive attitude. Not to focus on the problem but the solution. This focus of seeking the solutions, and reaching out to others, will lead to the answers in responding to change and conflict in your life.

God give you peace.

Frank J Casella

Manhood Monday: Conformity with God’s Will

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

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time.

Alleluia MT 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Righteousness here, as usually in Matthew, means conduct in conformity with God’s will.

“God sustains the world, in good times and in bad. Catholics, along with many others, believe that only one person has overcome and rescued history: Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, savior of the world and head of his body, the church. Those who gather at his cross and by his empty tomb, no matter their nationality, are on the right side of history. Those who lie about him and persecute or harass his followers in any age might imagine they are bringing something new to history, but they inevitably end up ringing the changes on the old human story of sin and oppression. There is nothing “progressive” about sin, even when it is promoted as “enlightened.

The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters. The Synod on the New Evangelization is taking place in Rome this month because entire societies, especially in the West, have placed themselves on the wrong side of history.”

The late Francis Cardinal George – from “The Power of the Cross for Catholic Men”

God bless your day.

Catholic Men Chicago Southland Apostolate (CMCS)


Frank’s Photo of the Week

father, son, walking, neighborhood, sidewalk, wisdom, mentor,
Father and Son Wisdom Walk’ – Copyright 2012 Frank J Casella

“Effective fathers do not create robot sons who merely repeat verbatim what has been drilled into them. Rather, an effective father transmits wisdom right into his son’s core, enabling him to feel and act, to speak and judge with wisdom and righteousness.” It is not easy to transmit this heritage of wisdom; a father must be close, gentle but firm with his children.

Pope Francis (February 8th, 2015) – from ‘Called To Holiness – Tools For The Catholic Man’

Thanks for Reading.

Make it a great week. See you back 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.

Please Donate What You Can

We rely on contributions from readers and members of our community to keep Catholic Chicago Men Blog free. If you’d like to pay what you can for the service, we’d greatly appreciate it. These contributions touch the lives of many and help us keep investing in new technologies and better content.

Thank you for being the best part of Catholic Chicago Men Blog! Your contributions make a difference. From all of us at Catholic Men Chicago Southland and all of those that will be helped, thank you.

The Differences Between Men and Women are God’s Plan

PhotoArt: Summer Lovin’ – Copyright 2008 Frank J Casella

Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord. For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God.

1 Corinthians 11:11-12

[11:11–12] These parenthetical remarks relativize the argument from Gn 2–3. In the Lord: in the Christian economy the relation between the sexes is characterized by a mutual dependence, which is not further specified. And even in the natural order conditions have changed: the mode of origin described in Gn 2 has been reversed (1 Cor 11:12a). But the ultimately significant fact is the origin that all things have in common (1 Cor 11:12b).

This blog, if it is your first visit here, is sponsored by Catholic Men Chicago Southland apostolate (CMCS). Some people have the idea that CMCS is all about men. In reality CMCS is about relationships, and placing women in their rightful place of honor, because without women none of us men would even be born into this world. Just like how we wouldn’t have Jesus without Mary.

As our mission reads: “CMCS has a practical way of evangelizing Catholic men young and old, and their families, of helping them to understand what the culture often rejects – how men and women should relate to one another in complementary ways and how important husbands and fathers are to children.”

This element of personal relationships and communications between men and woman can easily get lost today and with the online world, especially social media which has become flawed from its original purpose. And this is why CMCS hosts an annual Men’s Forum, so that us guys can share our thoughts with each other on important topics. The results most often being that we come to realize how hard we are on ourselves, and how our own concerns and struggles are very similar to other Catholic men, more than we ever thought. You would most likely never learn this with an online discussion forum.

And we see from 1 Corinthians how men and women have more things in common than we may think or realize, or our culture would want us to believe, and all of this is God’s plan. This relation between the sexes is made to compliment each other, if we’d just allow ourselves to see it this way and through God’s eyes. Sometimes we need a mentor, counselor, priest, or a book to help us better relate to each other, but it is possible with effort and intention.

Once we discover that differences between the sexes, or husband and wife, are meant to be a blessing, we try to learn from each other and thank God for them and each other.

“There are no irreconcilable differences, only people who refuse to reconcile. It all begins by accepting our differences as an asset rather than a liability.”

Dr Gary Chapman

Frank J Casella, CMCS-Director

Manhood Monday: Being Light Through the Gospel

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

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Alleluia See 2 Tm 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Consider the deplorable conditions of life and political turmoil and crime that result in the massive trek of people from their homelands looking for relief and safety and a future for their children. We think of the children in cities across the country when they explode in racially charged violence. We think of Christian communities in Syria and Iraq who are remembered for their founding back in the days of St. Paul, but are today destroyed by unconscionable acts of fanaticism. We think of Bethlehem where the Christ savior was born mandated as a ghetto populated by a people who trace their lineage to Christ’s ancestors but who are pushed to the margins of society. All of this begs for prayer and a Christian voice. ….

Thank you, brothers and sisters, for your faith and hope, your sober words of calm in the midst of conflict and mistaken reference. Thank you for your generosity so eloquently evident with various causes and programs that lift people to see more clearly the light of Christ in their lives.

From the 2015 CMCS archives by Bishop Joseph Perry

God bless your day.

Catholic Men Chicago Southland Apostolate (CMCS)


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo: ‘In Daddy’s Arms‘ Copyright 2012 Frank J Casella

Instead of death and sorrow, let us bring peace and joy to the world. To do this we must beg God for His gift of peace and learn to love and accept each other as brothers and sisters, children of God. We know that the best place for children to learn how to love and to pray is in the family, by seeing the love and prayer of their mother and father. When families are broken or disunited, many children grow up not knowing how to love and pray. A country where many families have been destroyed like this will have many problems. I have often seen, especially in the rich countries, how children turn to drugs or other things to escape feeling unloved and rejected.

But when families are strong and united, children can see God’s special love in the love of their father and mother and can grow to make their country a loving and prayerful place. The child is God’s best gift to the family and needs both mother and father because each one shows God’s love in a special way. The family that prays together stays together, and if they stay together they will love one another as God has loved each one of them. And works of love are always works of peace.

– Saint ( Mother ) Teresa

Thanks for Reading.

Make it a great week. See you back 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.

Please Donate What You Can

We rely on contributions from readers and members of our community to keep Catholic Chicago Men Blog free. If you’d like to pay what you can for the service, we’d greatly appreciate it. These contributions touch the lives of many and help us keep investing in new technologies and better content.

Thank you for being the best part of Catholic Chicago Men Blog! Your contributions make a difference. From all of us at Catholic Men Chicago Southland and all of those that will be helped, thank you.