Bishop Joseph Perry: Genuine Intimacy

As one husband and father of five children with one on the way openly testifies:

(In our families) “we see the beauty of a child’s faith and we see the immediate negative consequences of sin. There is little that can motivate a man to improve himself more than seeing his weakness imitated by his son.  In the constant labor of family life, one either embraces the Cross and finds joy or one retreats to selfishness, shirks one’s responsibilities and accepts misery. The truth is that our vocation is labor and our spirituality must be one rooted in labor. Spending an hour trying to find a toddlers shoe, which for some inexplicable reason is never with its partner, is not a distraction from the life of holiness, it is where we find it! The laity is engaged in a struggle, a war that requires great labor and without spiritual fortitude and maturity it simply won’t be won.” 

Dr. Andrew Jones, PhD,  “Into the Battle: Finding Holiness and A Lost Shoe While We’re At It,”  Lay Witness, Sept/Oct 2014.

Don’t you find it strange that in a world obsessed with communications via cell phones, IPhones, Skype and the Internet, it has never been harder to stay in touch, to build and maintain genuine intimacy.  I’m not talking about that artificial contact found in bars or clubs where alcohol and atmosphere create the illusion that everyone is your buddy.  I’m not talking about that superficial contact found in the members of the family popping in and out of the house picking up food off the stove or from the refrigerator but never taking the time to sit down and enjoy a meal together.  I’m talking about real intimacy that lasts longer than the evanescent fumes of liquor and perfume, real intimacy that must be taken up after the gifts are unwrapped or exchanged back at the stores the day after. The kind of intimacy that takes time, demands sacrifice and intentional effort and is not circumvented by fear or disappointment, the kind of intimacy where each member of the family senses they are appreciated and respected.

This real intimacy I speak of puts other family members first and is willing to accept imperfection in ourselves and in our loved-ones.  It is also open to work with challenge and change. This is the only kind of intimacy that keep couples and families together in the hard times as well as the good times.

Bishop Joseph N Perry

The Domestic Church: How to ‘Walk the Talk’

The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called “the domestic church,” a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.  — CCC 1666

There are thousands of men in our Chicagoland parishes needing help in how to “walk the talk.”  Catholic Men Chicago Southland helps us in our walk as Catholic men, fathers, husbands, and grandparents. Being a resource to educate, support, and strengthen households is the mission of CMCS.

Here are some more examples about ‘the domestic church’ from the Catholic Catechism:

1655    Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than “the family of God.” From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers “together with all [their] household.”166 When they were converted, they desired that “their whole household” should also be saved.167 These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in an unbelieving world. (759)

1656    In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestica.168 It is in the bosom of the family that parents are “by word and example… the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation.”169 (2204)

1657    It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way “by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity.”170 Thus the home is the first school of Christian life and “a school for human enrichment.”171 Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous—even repeated—forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one’s life. (1268, 2214-2231, 2685)

1658    We must also remember the great number of single persons who, because of the particular circumstances in which they have to live—often not of their choosing—are especially close to Jesus’ heart and therefore deserve the special affection and active solicitude of the Church, especially of pastors. Many remain without a human family, often due to conditions of poverty. Some live their situation in the spirit of the Beatitudes, serving God and neighbor in exemplary fashion. The doors of homes, the “domestic churches,” and of the great family which is the Church must be open to all of them. “No one is without a family in this world: the Church is a home and family for everyone, especially those who ‘labor and are heavy laden.’”172 (2231, 2233)

Please keep room in your prayers for struggling men, believing families, and for all Catholic men (in Chicagoland) to live out the CMCS motto: “Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man”.

What did your Dad teach you?

Catholic Chicago Men —

With Father’s Day here, we’d thought it be a good idea to do something different for this blog entry.

Instead of an article about the importance of Dad’s, and what we pass on to our children, we’d like to hear from you and let your comments collectively make up a page or ‘article’ about what Father’s Day means to you, or what you learned from your Father or a Father figure in your life.

Are you in?

You know, things like values, virtues, faith etc, and not so much “he taught me to fix a flat tire”, etc.  And limit your responses to 150 words or less.

Think you can do this?

We’ve opened up the comments this time, so just scroll to the bottom of this page, type your sentence in the box below, and follow the prompts. There will be a delayed post when you comment.

We’d like to do this every few weeks, so lets see if we can get a page full of responses!

Happy Father’s Day!