A Man that Believes …. Hears the Word of God

By Deacon Alfred Coleman II

When I started going to church and wanting to understand the bible I had no clue to what to do or were to look. There are so many definitions of what a Christian man should be and was shared by both Christians and non Christians. Life has many ways to pull us away from God, church and of Family, do not let the world say what is a Man, God created us and only he can truly define us.

I went to Mass on the U.S.A. army base Fort Jackson South Carolina, it was a field mass. No choir, no seats, no building and the Mass was unbelievable. I wanted more, I needed more and God was real and this church the Catholic Church was my home. So, I handle my search for God the same way I did when I looked at the Military.

  • Made a commitment
  • Went to basic training
  • Went to A.I.T : Amy Individual Training
  • Joined my company and did my part

So, I

  • Committed to RCIA
  • Went to the Parish Bible study
  • Went to Leadership day for more faith development and jointed a men’s group
  • Asked the parish priest how could I help?

I began to learn a lot from the Christian men that have been where I was and done and seen it all and lived to talk about it. They shared their lives openly with wisdom and humor the way men share over coffee and donuts. They talked about family life, working in this world as a believer in God with friends and co-worker living worldly. I came to learn that at times the life of a Christian man feels and looks lonely but they reassured me the pain would pass. Also, family leadership is not based on who makes the most money; the presence of a Christian Man is priceless. Sadly our family will not truly fill the fullness of our life until we are back home with God, our presence shells our family for evil. Yes, the world has so many definitions of what a man should do, how a man should talk and how a man should lead his family. Our society is doing its best to direct and push men in to a mode that changes every time the current social trend bend to it’s worldly desires. We must always stay on guard, satan is a slick, slimy sucker and he will lie to us each time.

Fatherhood is a vocation a calling to a distinctive state of life that will bless, support and care for the family life, and the further of the Church. Men do not pray like women, we may not look like we are spiritually concerned or hurting and looking for God’s direction. But we are concerned about our love ones, our community and our place in this world. Yes we hold thoughts in and do not talk openly about our feelings but we do care and sadly at times to the point that it will look as if we do not care.

When our families turn to us in times of trouble we must turn our family troubles over to the lord, we can’t hold what is not ours. When they throw it to us – we must throw it to God, put it where it belongs.

There are four things that we must do for our family:

  • Protector: Shell our family from the world; we should always be on watch.
  • Provider: Be a giver of Wisdom, friendship, and to add to our family life
  • Promoter: Help your family look good, help their light shine better
  • Prayer: We need a prayer life

To be true and live healthy, men need to stay connected with the Church and other Christian men so they can stay fed spiritually. Men’s prayer groups, Men’s Choirs, Knights of Columbus, Knights of Peter Claver and other group that openly share the faith are a Blessing to any man wanting to hear the word of God. Every CMCS conference provides Christian men with support, wisdom and a place to see and feel what a Christian mans life is about. It is great for a new seeker to men with great wisdom to share to take some to time to give time for your family and community. The better you are in your faith, the better your family and community will be so, let God use you to Bless his people.

Deacon Alfred Coleman is Director of Zacchaeus House, and a member of the CMCS-Team as nonprofit advisor.


If You Don’t Stand For What You Believe, People Won’t Know Where You Stand

By Frank J Casella

Have you ever met a person who says they believe one thing, but then does something else?

Have you ever faced making a decision and can’t find the best answer, or the best direction to go.

In my volunteer work with Catholic Men the topic often comes up about how to make decisions. It usually comes down to based on our personal belief system. Specifically, it’s important to us that we make decisions in the work place and at home that reflect Jesus Christ as the center of our lives.

My late father often said the words, “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. This is why it’s important to know what we believe. In fact, even an atheist knows what he believes .. That he doesn’t believe in God or Jesus.

Many converts to the Catholic Faith I have witnessed are on fire for the Truth of the Church more so than those like me who have been brought up in the faith.

Why is this?

I think it’s because they (converts) have made a decision to the Faith instead of being born into it.

When we make a conscience decision about anything in life, instead of that decision handed to us, then we have an intentional commitment to it.

The thing is, most of us I find try not to make intentional decisions, but rather just live for the moment as long as it takes care of our needs, wants, and personal desires.

So, if you are a Christian, how do you make a conscience decision based on what you believe?

The way I try to do it is to look at the person or matter through the eyes of Christ. To first ask myself if this decision is on my agenda or on God’s agenda. How does Jesus see them or this matter, and how would He respond. … through me.

Many times when I seek where God is at work in the matter, elements come into play that go beyond whatever I could do on my own.

I also try to live my life as a prayer; to have a conversation with God all day long, and do more listening than talking. This takes practice being in tune with the Holy Spirit, and listening for ‘the voice’. Test the small decisions to know that you hear it right first, before moving to the big decisions.

Finally, I spend a few minutes each day just to think. In silence.

After I drain my brain of the many concerns of the day, several things come to mind that I write as a thought and not as a to-do list. It becomes easier over time, as you become more serious and disciplined, and sincere, then God will speak, you will see.

By doing all the above you will find over time that making a decision becomes more easy, and you will have clarity over a matters faster, because you know what you believe.

Some decisions are not made for us alone, and this is were we bring in trusted council to help us with discernment, such as a priest or spiritual director, or trusted friend.

Why is all of this important?

Because our lives are just passing through here on Earth. So the time we have left is meant to make a positive difference for the next generation, compared to when we showed up.

And we do this by making the right decisions in the little everyday things, so that over time we have a satisfying life well lived, rather than a life of confusions and wanderings.

Said another way, I’ve never met a person that served themselves who was happy and full of joy, and living a satisfying life.

So, decide on what you believe, and then let that belief transform your decisions in this life. Sometimes you will find this is opposite of what the world tells you to do.

But, then, if you don’t stand for what you believe, people won’t know where you stand .. including yourself.

 

Frank J Casella is co-founder of Chicago Catholic Men’s Conference, and executive director of Catholic Men Chicago Southland Apostolate.

Portions of this post are from this article on LinkedIn Blog

 

 

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