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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Measuring Up To Jesus

By Frank J Casella

The other day when I was on Twitter a quote I saw from sales guru hit me: You become what you think about all day long. It made me ponder on what I think about every day, which lead me to realize how much my thinking, and lifestyle, has changed over the years.

I used to be more selfish, helping and serving others with the end motive of serving my own needs and ego, and praying for my own needs — talking to God more than listening. St. Francis says [that] it is through giving that we receive, and I took it literal.

Today, when I give of myself I do not look for what I receive, because the real gift is how God is blessing others through me .. which I may never see. My agenda has become Gods agenda. Said another way, I live my life as a prayer.

If we focus our attention on bad news and gossip, and distractions, we will miss God’s incredible, visionary, optimistic purpose for every believer: to grow so much in our faith that we shine like beacons to everyone around us!

God’s vision for each church is that we would grow so much in our love for God that we’d love people the way He loves them: unconditionally and passionately. He want’s us to be filled up with Christ’s grace, truth, and purpose so that everything we do will reflect Him to those around us.

Measuring Up To Jesus Photo Copyright Frank J Casella All Rights Reserved

I assure you, the longer you look at Jesus on that Cross, the more He will speak to you about who you are and how you can become more Holy.

The greatest image I have of my late father is how he prayed the rosary, looking at the Cross, each morning in a room with only the window light , just him and God, before leaving for work.

The greatest image my children say they have of me is how I kiss the crucifix each morning as soon as I wake up. What they do not see is how often I spend just gazing at it in holy contemplation.

“If a hypocrite is standing between you and God, it just means the hypocrite is closer to God than you are.” — Zig Ziglar


Frank J Casella is a photographer, and co-founder of Bishop Perry’s Catholic Chicago Men’s Forum.

The Power of the Cross for Catholic Men

Back to basics. We can’t love the Church if we don’t know and love Christ.

God has called us through the Gospel
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thes 2:14

This struck me on the importance and power of the Cross. And we are given access to this power just through believing in Jesus Christ.

As men we face many challenges in this world. It is simply by the sign of the Cross that we are not alone and are given strength.

Heed these words of the late Francis Cardinal George:

“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.”

 

You Become What You Think About

The Catholic Catechism and the Bible tells you how to do the right thing. But you may think, as I have, that a certain movie you see or how you look at that woman walking down the street or sitting in the church pew across the isle is a simple, innocent thing and doesn’t make a difference.

The other day when I was on Twitter a quote I saw from sales guru hit me: “You become what you think about all day long”.  It made me ponder on what I think about every day, which lead me to realize how much my thinking – and lifestyle – has changed over the years.

I used to be more selfish, helping and serving others with the end motive of serving my own needs and ego, and praying for my own needs – talking to God more than listening.  St. Francis says [that] it is through giving that we receive, and I took it literal.

Today …  when I give of myself I don’t look for what I receive, because the real gift is how God is blessing others through me .. which I may never see. My agenda has become God’s agenda. Said another way, I live my life as a prayer.

Your words and actions, men, say a lot about your thinking, and when you live your life as a prayer you see the world and others through God’s eyes … and become more like Christ. You’ll know this is happening when others tell you, because you might be too humble to see it in yourself.

A spiritual director once told me ”the ‘best’ Christian’s are those people who constantly feel that they fall short in living-out God’s will for their life“.

Here are some scriptures from the Catholic Bible that speak to me on what and how you – a Catholic Man – should think:

Power of the Tongue.  James Chapter 3    Proverbs Chapter 15

Thoughts and Thinking.   Proverbs Chapter 18    Matthew Chapter 9

What do you think about all day long?

Without the Cross, your life can be horizontal = world view, selfish and self serving.

When Jesus’ stretched out arms of love were nailed to the Cross, He created the vertical = Heavenly view, seeing others as better than yourself, and helping each other make it through life.

 

Holiness and the Cross

Too many times, we allow sin in our lives to distract us from the Holiness of God. As scripture says, “be still … and know that I am God”.  The two main things that keeps us from Holiness as men is our human understanding of sex and money.

Stay with me now …

The more we be still and look at that crucifix everyday the more we will see how us men need to turn off the porn on the computer; walk away from that affair (emotional or otherwise); stop flirting with all the ladies and instead look at them as a person and as a Woman; turn marital sex from self-gratification into being a Sacred and Holy gift to your spouse; stop using profanity .. PERIOD; stop little white lies and then rationalizing them; and take our minds off materialism: the faster car, the big house or boat, or the latest electronic gadget . .. or just the need to make more money.

(it is not bad to have things, but we must keep it all in right perspective)

All of these.. and more … distract us from keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. When us Men get sex and money – and the power of the Cross – in the right Christian order, we will then shake the world for Jesus Christ!

So, if you are going through an identity crisis I suggest you find the crucifix in your house and just look at it … and look at it… and look at it.

 

Your identity is in Jesus Christ! 

I assure you, the longer you look at Jesus on that Cross, the more He will speak to you about who you are and how you can become more Holy.

The greatest image I have of my late father is how he prayed the rosary, looking at the Cross, each morning in a room with only the window light – just him and God – before leaving for work.

The greatest image my children say they have of me is how I kiss the crucifix each morning as soon as I wake up. What they don’t see is how often I spend just looking at it in holy contemplation.

Us men have the power that when we get our holiness in order can impact the world, the church, humanity, and our families …  and all of this can be felt three generations deep!

We have one message to give through our lives … and the sign of the Cross:

… “only one person has overcome and rescued history: Jesus Christ.”

 

— Frank J Casella, CMCS Executive Director

 

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