7 Catholic Manhood Quotes

How living our faith and doing God’s will helps us through difficult times

Photo: ‘When Men Put God First’ Copyright 2014 Frank J Casella on Fine Art America

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.

Frank J Casella

Stability of a Father

How a Father is like a Godly figure to his children.

father daughter child carry shoulders stability photo people
Stability – A Father is like a tower to a child’s life, a Godly figure of carrying us and being our hero. (Copyright 2013 Frank J Casella on Fine Art America)

I yanked this picture out of my archives, because I think it sends an important message. We need to have pictures like this as examples to carry through the generations. Because the importance of this is taken for granted.

I recently went to a parade with my family. Next to us was a little girl who wanted her dad to lift her up onto his shoulders. But dad refused, several times. The girl looked crushed, as did her mom. You might think because she didn’t get what she waned, but what I saw in her eyes was she wanted her Dad, and she wanted him to save the day and not only let her look down the road at the parade coming, but to carry her and be her source of stability.

Instead, Dad would rather stare at his phone, or put his hands on his wife’s butt. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for these, and a parade with family is not it. The roll of the Father is to set the tone for the household and to get his family to Heaven.

Likewise, my family has a rather old Golden Retriever Dog. He has been though so much we call him The Wonder Dog, and his name is Buddy. When Buddy comes into the house now he has trouble going up the three stairs, we have to lift up his butt to provide support because he can’t do it alone.

This got me to thinking how much God is always there to lift us up with a similar kind of support. How, like Buddy, when we are afraid or can’t do it alone, God is there to lift us up and to trust Him. And the same goes for what we do as dad’s, to lift up our family to provide support and stability … and trust.

This doesn’t matter how much money you make, or what your identity in the world is, when you are a dad you will always be a dad, and your children look up to you as a Godly figure no matter if they tell you this or not.

Frank J Casella

Bishop Joseph Perry: The Relevance of Church

Is it too late to save our families and ourselves for God?

It is not easy proclaiming the Gospel in a secularized world – a world that is of diminished religious tone.

In a recent address, December 21, to the Cardinals and staffs of the Roman Curia at the Vatican, Pope Francis recalled that we are no longer living in a Christian world. 

“Christendom no longer exists. Today, we are no longer the only ones who create culture, nor are we in the forefront or those most listened to … we are no longer living in a Christian world, because faith… is no longer an evident presupposition of social life; indeed, faith is often rejected, derided, marginalized and ridiculed… the faith used to be passed on within families and the example of parents; society too was inspired by Christian principles. Today, this transmission has been interrupted and our social context, if not anti-Christian, appears to be at least impermeable to the Christian faith.  Hence the question … how to proclaim the Gospel where it is no longer known or recognized?  It is pointless getting agitated. There is no need to get organized, or to make a noise. There’s no need for gimmicks or stratagems. In the mission of proclaiming the Gospel, you move because the Holy Spirit pushes you, and carries you.  And when you arrive you realize that He has come before you and is waiting for you.”

“Proclaiming the Gospel,” adds the Pope, “does not consist in besieging others with apologetic speeches … in shouting in peoples’ faces.  Even less is it necessary to fling the truths and doctrinal formulas on others as if they were stones … if people to whom it is addressed have no opportunity to meet and taste in some way God’s tenderness and His healing mercy… to facilitate, that is, make it easy not to put us in the way of Jesus’ desire to embrace everyone, to heal everyone, to save everyone.”  Always aware that without Him we can do nothing.

With these thoughts of the Holy Father in mind, is it too late to save our families and ourselves for God?  How about the evangelization of our households, our friendships.  How about fervent practice of our faith for these times and every time.  How about we men being intentional pastors of our households leading the way?

Bishop Joseph Perry

Manhood Monday: Living a Blessed Life

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

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Alleluia MT 24:42A, 44

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake!
For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

The widow is another example of the poor ones in the Gospel today whose detachment from material possessions and dependence on God leads to their blessedness (Lk 6:20). Her simple offering provides a striking contrast to the pride and pretentiousness of the scribes denounced in the preceding section (Lk 20:45–47). 

Likewise, in the scripture verse above, the theme of vigilance and readiness is continued with the bold comparison of the Son of Man to a thief who comes to break into a house.

Do you remember not too long ago when the average person would work for the same company for two or more decades?  It still happens, but not that often. More like eighteen months to three years.

Our paycheck, and identity, and thus possessions, can be taken from us like a thief unless we stay awake with readiness. It is best to be detached from these, and work to truly make Jesus the center of our lives.  And this is the meaning behind the CMCS logo, with the four letters surrounding the crucifix – Christ as Center.

Dependence on God leads to blessedness. It’s not about our good intentions to love God, but how much we offer to Christ to fill our hearts, and He possesses our thoughts and actions, every minute of the day and night.

The CMCS-Team

PS. Thanksgiving Day Prayer click here.


Frank’s Photo of the Week

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Photo: ‘In All Circumstances Give Thanks‘ Copyright Frank J Casella Prints | Cards

A Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue in a church hallway, silhouetted by window light.

“Failure is an event, not a person”. – Zig Ziglar

We either succeed or we learn.

When I sit in the presence of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and give thanks for life and every breath I take, I realize how much it’s more about the big picture of things and less about me.

“In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thes. 5:18

Thanks for Reading.

Make it a great week. See you in your inbox again next Monday.

Frank J Casella,
CMCS Executive Director

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

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The Culture of Waste and Faith Formation

How to apply tithing to spiritual poverty

Pope Francis is known as “The Quotable Pope”.  An example of this is from each day on Twitter like this one:

” Consumerism has accustomed us to waste. But throwing food away is like stealing it from the poor and hungry. “

,,,, I can relate to this because my family has been in that position of having to turn to our parish and St. Vincent DePaul Ministry or Catholic Charities food pantry to put food on our table.  There is a present statistic out that says the average American family dumps in the trash 140 LBS. of food each year. 

This is food that is paid for from our working incomes. I’m sure we all tithe our cash to give to the church or to further God’s work. Why not make less trash with our food and do the same??

Likewise, when Francis Cardinal George came to be our Ordinary here in Chicago, it wasn’t too long before he said …“The greatest poverty is not to know Jesus Christ” … So, spinning the Popes quote from above, if you will …

” Always be a consistent living example of the Gospel. Because failing to do so is like stealing from the spiritually poor the opportunity to know Jesus’ love”. 

Finally, not too long ago when my son’s were teenagers (they are now in their 20’s) while taking my son to his sports practice, the thought occurred to me how many households in my neighborhood have two parents that work out of the home.  How they put their children into multiple sports programs with the intention of while they are working to “provide” someone else will take their child to the events.

I constantly would get phone calls, emails, etc., (from parents) assuming that since I’m taking my child anyways to take theirs too … and they will lie and rationalize to get it done, without any thought of the liability they put on me in the event something happens to their child.

Personally, my wife and I are that kind of parent who alwyas sat on the sideline even during practices to send the message to our boys they are important to us. Sure we have “better” things to do, but It personally gave me windshield time in the car to talk with them about what they saw happen in practices or in the games, or let them lead the conversation to become more a part of their lives.

We don’t get a second chance at this while they grow up. Sometimes us dad’s, as the priest of our house, have to lead the conversation with our wives about which parent is going to cut back – or cut out – the work load to live on less (maybe less sports programs) to invest more into our children and instilling their faith formation.

“With the “culture of waste”, human life is no longer considered the primary value to be respected and protected.” ~ Pope Francis

By the way, that picture at the top of this article, from the Bishop Perry Men’s Forum, all the left over food goes to the poor.

Frank J Casella

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Taking it all in stride

God’s will is that we depend on Him.

Taking things in your stride means, as you go along the bumpy road of life, which most people will inevitably experience, you endeavor not to let the more challenging events you encounter blow you off course.

Much of the strength I get to take things in stride is through my faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. Just because I am a Christian doesn’t mean I don’t have problems. In fact, I probably have more. Because people it seems test you to see the power of your belief.

Anger, worry, struggles and the like are revelations that things are not going our way, and that we are not in control of everything. When I take things in stride, and wait on God and meet Him where He is at work (in my life), it’s always amazing how things unfold and come together in ways that I could never do myself.

Try it. Pray for your circumstances. Ask God to show you what to do. Wait for the answer. Don’t take it back … just wait … in HIS time not yours. You will see.

God’s will is that we depend on Him. So keep it all in perspective and take in all in stride.

Frank J Casella

Faith: Pass it on

Sharing the faith is like marketing, and looks easy to do. But it takes the very serious and skilled to make it work. St. Paul was a great example of this in how he mentored St. Timothy.

We see on social media how things go viral, usually because a product or service, or idea, generates enough enthusiasm that it spreads and causes people to tell their friends and associate about it. The life in Christ can be the same way.

But none of this happens by chance. For example, St. Paul told St. Timothy to pass on everything he had learned from him, but not just to anybody. He carefully instructed Timothy to set the standard high: Select “faithful men” who have the heart and the skills to teach others.

These men would then do the same thing, selecting great leaders and teaching them God’s truth, and they’d do the same thing with people they selected. Today most of us can look back at a generation or two of faithful people who where part of viral marketing the Faith to our generation.

And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.

2 Timothy 2:2

Discipleship is like the apprenticeship model described by Fr. Burke Masters: 1) I do, you watch. 2) I do, you help. 3) You do, I help. 4) You do, I watch.

This is a function of CMCS, to help men develop a relationship with Jesus Christ to the point that it spreads. But before it can spread, He needs to dwell in the center of our lives.

We know this is happening when others tell us they see it, when we are developing relationships with others who also live their faith.

Sometimes it takes one man to plant the seed, and another man to nurture it. Sometimes it is us who does the planting and nurturing, other times we are receiving it.

The important thing is that we keep our eyes open for the ‘flags’ that tell us to pass it on. Faith that is developed by watching others example living out their faith. This is in connection to the signs from the Bible, the Holy Spirit, the Church, and through prayer.

In our information overload culture, marketing today means more about being ‘attractive’ in a way that causes others to take notice and spread it, than to push our message onto everyone we think will hear it. There are many businesses who glorify God as their mission, but you don’t see any of that in their marketing or the main areas of their website … it’s how they do business that makes them different. So, too, it should be with our own lives.

Questions:

  • How do you live your life in a way that is attractive for God?
  • Who do you look to as a mentor in your own faith?
  • Do you have a list of other men who you pray for and consider mentoring living their faith?
  • Do you have a life mission that includes how you impact this generation for Jesus who, in turn, pass this on to others?