Manhood Monday: The Words of Eternal Life

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

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Second Week in Lent.

Verse Before the Gospe l Jn 6:63c, 68c

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.

Spirit and life: all Jesus said about the bread of life is the revelation of the Spirit.

Needing to go to Confession is like needing to check in with a doctor regarding our physical health.  We cannot afford to neglect spiritual doctoring of our souls any more than we can afford to neglect a physical doctor of our bodies.  The Sacrament of Penance also works for a healthy life.  Mature and healthy men are men who can take themselves to task, recognize their mistakes and take aim to correct those mistakes for the sake of positive connections with their spouse, their children, their friends, the people they work with and, therefore our God.

Check your parish confession schedule or some parish, shrine or oratory that has a regular confession schedule.

Bishop Joseph Perry: ‘Haven’t Been To Confession In A While?’

God bless your day.

The CMCS-Team


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo: ‘Swing’ by Frank J Casella on Fine Art America
The Playground of Life

I’m sure you’ve heard it said that the world is our playground? Though, I’ve noticed that many times we can learn from a playground about how to live in the world.

One day as I was taking the dog for a walk by a playground, I couldn’t help but notice a young brother and sister being corrected by their parent about sharing a swing.

The older child said somthing to tease the younger, causing the younger to slug the older. The parent corrected the younger about making a bad decision, yet didn’t correct the older, and then asking the two to appologize to each other.

This incident made me wonder how these two children will behave when they grow up, and what the world would be like without forgiveness.

Then the answer came to just look around us. How many people do you know who’ve shared their life experiences about others, where there wouln’nt be an issue if they’d just say “I’m Sorry” and forgive?

So, it seems that saying “I’m sorry” is a key to making life easier as we play in the playground of life.

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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Click here to learn about the annual Bishop Perry’s Catholic Chicago Men’s Forum held on the Saturday after Easter. All men from around the Archdiocese of Chicago and surrounding Chicagoland are invited to attend.

Giving Thanks. Living In Peace.

Life, and the persons we share it with, is too short.

12We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are laboring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you, 13and to show esteem for them with special love on account of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all. 15See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all. 16Rejoice always. 17Pray without ceasing. 18In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

1 THES Chapter 5:12-18

I have a confession to make. I have lived through at least seven car accidents while I was the driver. None of them have I caused, just my being in the wrong place at the ‘right’ time. However, all of them caused me to reflect on me asking “why did that happen”?!!

But that’s not the real confession ….

The confession is that all of those accidents revealed my unfinished business in that moment had I died, and how I needed to work on each day to correct things that went wrong ‘yesterday’ … and (do that) for the rest of my life. As a Catholic man, it is my responsibility, as it is yours, to be a spiritual leader for our family and an example of our relationship with Christ!

Our first ministry is to get our faimily to Heaven.

I’m sure if you ask your priest or deacon they will tell you the number of people they see at funerals who’ve gone up to bodies and weeping over unsettled issues. The closer you get to people, the more you have disagreements.

It seems that everywhere you look people want to fight you. And today both online and offline. Conflict resolution involves making right towards others to be at peace with all people – and we can’t change others until we can change ourself first.

Bishop Perry’s Men’s Forum 2018

Every day you and I need to work toward living and being “The Goodness of a Catholic Man”, and a servant leader after God’s own heart. Many times we have good intentions but hide behind, or allow, things that distract us to never take action on our responsibilities: prayers or the Cross, the TV clicker, your fears, gossip, sports, money, pornography, work …. the list goes on.

What do you hide behind ?

If you are married, are you and your wife a “gift” to each other, or do you repay evil for evil? Do either or both of you withdraw from the other to make them “pay the price”? Do you threaten divorce instead of work on better communication, no matter what it takes? If so, what is it going to take for you to look at each other in the eyes and say ” YOU ARE NOT MY ENEMY!!! “

Men – how do you talk to your wife? You may have issues, but she is the ONE (that you married and thus God gave to you), and so treat her like the queen of your household. Because she is!! I have learned, when our wives are unhappy, more often than not it’s because of our selfishness (just saying), by not filling her with our love and affection in the way God that made her.

What about your family members: children, siblings, parents, cousins, uncles and aunts … and even close friends … to name a few? As Father Larry Richards says, “the best way to set people free is with your love, not your judgement”. Yes, sometimes we need to tolerate family or friends, and other times we need to remove persons from our lives because they cause a threat to our health or to our life. But, otherwise, Christ calls us in all things to respect each other as a person, as a man or as a woman, no matter how we feel about them.

The reality is that God doesn’t need you or me to do His work! He needs us to love people and let them experience an example of what it is to be Catholic! To be contagious with our Faith!! Spiritual poverty is very common because of our hard hearts. To become the body of Christ we all need to be renewed in prayer.

Let us bring our questions to Jesus. Let Him show us through this renewal how to witness the way in His love.

…. So, going forward, I challenge you to take the steps needed to take care of unfinished business! You know what it is.

Instead of tolerating those persons or issues, this time tackle them like a football superstar … even if it means to make a stop at confession as a first step. Reconciliation and Forgiveness is not a bad thing. Pride and dictating is. In your position of spiritual leadership in the home, responsibility and integrity matters!

Pray is the best way. God, through our action, will then show us how to do the rest.

Life, and the persons we share it with, is too short. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

Frank J Casella

Learning to Love

Do you feel loved by anybody?

Do you believe God loves you?

St. John wrote about love 72 times, and Love is mentioned in the Bible over 400 times.


For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

John 3:16

If love is missing in your life, a vital part of your life is missing, because Love is a vital part of life.


Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.

1 John 4:7-11

Love is more than an emotion. It is a commitment to another person.

Love can also discern true love in others.

Love is not free. God’s love for us is free from Him, otherwise it demands something from us.

God’s creation was an act of Love. Genesis 1:1

God didn’t create us to live without Love.

If you feel loved by someone you feel complete, competent, and feel worthy.

Love is generous, unselfish. It doesn’t say ‘I’, it is always thinking about the other person.

Love is more fulfilled because it is giving. Love does not give in order to receive.

Love is forgiving. The crucifix, what did He do for you?

Love desires to express itself. It is like an emotional spring, it keeps on flowing.

Our needs are not material, physical, or financial, but a need to love and be loved.

If you see someone hurting and don’t have love you walk away.

Love does not keep count. Love is in the business of giving.

Sometimes love is very painful. You can love someone who doesn’t love you, and you have to keep loving and forgiving. Because it hurts people want to give up and quit. But love always wins when you keep giving.

Love another because who they are as a person. Jesus loves you because you are you.

Love is patient. Love knows how to wait.

Love does not hold grudges, it is willing to keep forgiving.

Jesus is a perfect example of love, He loves the world. Just keep on loving and you are the most like Jesus.

Love is not all about ‘me’. When you read the Bible you will find how Jesus has the most ultimate way to love.

When we go to confession, all that we have done in life that falls short of God’s Love for us is washed away.

Look at the crucifix, and put on Love.


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Haven’t Been to Confession In A While?

By Bishop Joseph N. Perry

Needing to go to Confession is like needing to check in with a doctor regarding our physical health.  We cannot afford to neglect spiritual doctoring of our souls anymore than we can afford to neglect a physical doctor of our bodies.  The Sacrament of Penance also works for a healthy life.  Mature and healthy men are men who can take themselves to task, recognize their mistakes and take aim to correct those mistakes for the sake of positive connections with their spouse, their children, their friends, the people they work with and, therefore our God.

Check your parish confession schedule or some parish, shrine or oratory that has a regular confession schedule.

 

–  Examine Your Conscience Beforehand –

Have I any habits of serious sin to confess: drunkenness, sexual misconduct, drug use, dishonesty or cheating on the job?

Have I willfully doubted or denied any of the teachings of the Church?

Have I taken active part in any non-Catholic worship?

Am I a member of any anti-Catholic or any secret society?

Have I practiced any superstitions, horoscopes, fortune tellers, etc?

 

Have I used God’s name in vain by use of profanity?

Have I murmured or complained against God?

Have I maligned priests or others consecrated to God?

Have I sworn by God’s name falsely or rashly?

Have I missed Mass on Sundays or holy days of obligation through negligence?

Have I done unnecessary physical work on Sunday?

Have I been disrespectful to my parents or neglected them?

Have I failed in obedience or reverence to others in authority?

Have I mistreated my wife or children?

Have I neglected the material needs of my children?

Have I neglected my children’s religious education?

Have I given my children bad example?

Have I allowed my children to neglect their religious duties?

 

Have I quarreled or cursed anyone or otherwise wished evil on them?

Have I taken pleasure in anyone’s misfortune?

Is there anyone to whom I refuse to speak or be reconciled?

Have I lied about anyone?

Have I rashly judged anyone?

Have I engaged in gossip or spread scandal?

Have I been jealous or envious of anyone?

 

Have I practiced unlawful birth control?

Have I abused my marriage rights in any other way?

Have I committed adultery or fornication?

Have I touched or embraced another impurely?

Have I sinned with others of the same or opposite sex?

Have I disrespected my own body sexually?

Have I harbored lustful desires for anyone?

Have I indulged in pornography or indecent literature?

Have I done anything to provoke or occasion impure thoughts or actions in others?

Have I committed or cooperated with an abortion of life in the womb?

 

Have I stolen anything?

Have I damaged anyone’s property through my own fault or negligence?

Have I cheated or defrauded others

Have I neglected to follow through on my debts?

Have I failed to make restitution for any negligence of mine?

Have I sinned by gluttony?

Have I sinned by becoming intoxicated?

Have I used narcotics?

Have I been motivated by greed or avarice?

 

– The Ten Commandments –

  • I am the Lord your God.  You shall not have any strange Gods before me.
  • You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  • Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
  • Honor your father and your mother
  • You shall not kill
  • You shall not commit adultery
  • You shall not steal
  • You shall not bear false witness
  • You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife
  • You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods

 

– The Beatitudes –

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of  heaven
  • Blessed are the meek; for they shall possess the land
  • Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted
  • Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for justice; for they shall be fulfilled
  • Blessed are the merciful; for they shall be fulfilled
  • Blessed are the pure of heart; for they shall see God
  • Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God
  • Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

After the priest welcomes you, either in the confessional box or a face-to-face encounter, which ever you choose, make the Sign of the Cross.  Then you may wish to indicate facts about your life such as whether you are a single man or married, widowed, divorced or….  Mention how long it’s been since your last confession, any difficulties in leading the Christian life and anything else that may help you ease your mind.  If you feel you need help with making your confession, just ask the priest.  He is more than willing to gently lead you.

Confess your sins as they are evident to your conscience.  The priest then offers you suitable advice and imposes an act of penance or satisfaction, such as certain prayers you should say once you leave the confessional or some action to make restitution, some act of self-denial or work of mercy or charity.

The priest will ask you to make an Act of Contrition:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee.
And I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments.
But most of all, because my sins have offended Thee my God
Who art all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace
To confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life,

Amen!

/or/

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more
And to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy!

Amen.

/or/

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Lamb of God;
you take away the sins of the world.
Through the grace of the Holy Spirit
restore me to friendship with your Father,
Cleanse me from every stain of sin
in the blood you shed for me,
And raise me to new life
for the glory of your name.

Amen.

The priest then extends his hand and pronounces the formula of absolution, making the Sign of the Cross over you during the final words.  You answer, “Amen!”

The priest sends you on your way with Christian best wishes for peace and your well-being lived in God’s grace through a life renewed according to the Gospel and more and more steeped in the love of God.

End by saying:  “thank you Father!”

 

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How To Make A Confession – by Most Rev. Joseph N. Perry

Haven’t Been to Confession In A While?

By Bishop Joseph N. Perry

Needing to go to Confession is like needing to check in with a doctor regarding our physical health.  We cannot afford to neglect spiritual doctoring of our souls anymore than we can afford to neglect a physical doctor of our bodies.  The Sacrament of Penance also works for a healthy life.  Mature and healthy men are men who can take themselves to task, recognize their mistakes and take aim to correct those mistakes for the sake of positive connections with their spouse, their children, their friends, the people they work with and, therefore our God.

Check your parish confession schedule or some parish, shrine or oratory that has a regular confession schedule.

– Examine Your Conscience Beforehand –

Have I any habits of serious sin to confess: drunkenness, sexual misconduct, drug use, dishonesty or cheating on the job?
Have I willfully doubted or denied any of the teachings of the Church?
Have I taken active part in any non-Catholic worship?
Am I a member of any anti-Catholic or any secret society?
Have I practiced any superstitions, horoscopes, fortune tellers, etc?

Have I used God’s name in vain by use of profanity?
Have I murmured or complained against God?
Have I maligned priests or others consecrated to God?
Have I sworn by God’s name falsely or rashly?
Have I missed Mass on Sundays or holy days of obligation through negligence?
Have I done unnecessary physical work on Sunday?

Have I been disrespectful to my parents or neglected them?
Have I failed in obedience or reverence to others in authority?
Have I mistreated my wife or children?
Have I neglected the material needs of my children?
Have I neglected my children’s religious education?
Have I given my children bad example?
Have I allowed my children to neglect their religious duties?

Have I quarreled or cursed anyone or otherwise wished evil on them?
Have I taken pleasure in anyone’s misfortune?
Is there anyone to whom I refuse to speak or be reconciled?
Have I lied about anyone?
Have I rashly judged anyone?
Have I engaged in gossip or spread scandal?
Have I been jealous or envious of anyone?

Have I practiced unlawful birth control?
Have I abused my marriage rights in any other way?
Have I committed adultery or fornication?
Have I touched or embraced another impurely?
Have I sinned with others of the same or opposite sex?
Have I disrespected my own body sexually?
Have I harbored lustful desires for anyone?
Have I indulged in pornography or indecent literature?
Have I done anything to provoke or occasion impure thoughts or actions in others?
Have I committed or cooperated with an abortion of life in the womb?

Have I stolen anything?
Have I damaged anyone’s property through my own fault or negligence?
Have I cheated or defrauded others
Have I neglected to follow through on my debts?
Have I failed to make restitution for any negligence of mine?
Have I sinned by gluttony?
Have I sinned by becoming intoxicated?
Have I used narcotics?
Have I been motivated by greed or avarice?

– The Ten Commandments –

I am the Lord your God.  You shall not have any strange Gods before me.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

Honor your father and your mother

You shall not kill

You shall not commit adultery

You shall not steal

You shall not bear false witness

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife

You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods

– The Beatitudes –

Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of  heaven
Blessed are the meek; for they shall possess the land
Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for justice; for they shall be fulfilled
Blessed are the merciful; for they shall be fulfilled
Blessed are the pure of heart; for they shall see God
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

After the priest welcomes you, either in the confessional box or a face-to-face encounter, which ever you choose, make the Sign of the Cross.  Then you may wish to indicate facts about your life such as whether you are a single man or married, widowed, divorced or….  Mention how long it’s been since your last confession, any difficulties in leading the Christian life and anything else that may help you ease your mind.  If you feel you need help with making your confession, just ask the priest.  He is more than willing to gently lead you.

Confess your sins as they are evident to your conscience.  The priest then offers you suitable advice and imposes an act of penance or satisfaction, such as certain prayers you should say once you leave the confessional or some action to make restitution, some act of self-denial or work of mercy or charity.

The priest will ask you to make an Act of Contrition:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee.
And I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments.
But most of all, because my sins have offended Thee my God
Who art all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace
To confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life,
Amen!

/or/

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more
And to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy!
Amen.

/or/

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Lamb of God;
you take away the sins of the world.
Through the grace of the Holy Spirit
restore me to friendship with your Father,
Cleanse me from every stain of sin
in the blood you shed for me,
And raise me to new life
for the glory of your name.  Amen.

The priest then extends his hand and pronounces the formula of absolution, making the Sign of the Cross over you during the final words.  You answer, “Amen!”

The priest sends you on your way with Christian best wishes for peace and your well-being lived in God’s grace through a life renewed according to the Gospel and more and more steeped in the love of God.

End by saying:  “thank you Father!”