React or Respond

I was drawn to this moment of an American Flag mounted on a tree with blooming flowers below it, in the country morning sunlight, because it reminds me of how the Flag is a symbol of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase gives three examples of the “unalienable rights” which the Declaration says have been given to all human beings by their Creator, and which governments are created to protect. Without it we have chaos.

How do you react when you see people being hostile toward Christian beliefs? Do you let your anger simmer, get into an debate on social media, or just keep quiet? It’s difficult to know how to respond to those who show antagonism to our faith, but Saint Peter gives us good advice ….

… but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.

1 Peter 3:13-18

Are you willing to suffer or be misunderstood? Since the world finds holiness, obedience, and reverence for God confusing or even offensive, taking a stand for righteousness may bring you criticism instead of praise.

Then online, Facebook, Twitter and Google were seen as white knights of progress, but now there is a lot more skepticism about their effects and their intentions. Or you might be thinking that maybe you should quit social media because it can hurt your career.

The late Zig Ziglar says “It’s not the situation, but whether we react negative or respond positive to the situation that is important.”

Responding to Our Culture

When we react to a situation it is often a fight or flight action, more often than not it is a defensive mechanism. It is reflexive with little thought of the action or outcome. Reaction is usually a response to an emergency or a crisis, and respond is like a thought-out, deliberate decision.

We also see the aspect of react such as regarding men, their reaction to religious sharing groups, and what discourages them from attending.

Remember these points:

  • Don’t fear the intimidation, but remember that when you are persecuted, you are blessed (Matt. 5:10).
  • Sanctify Christ as Lord in your heart. A follower of Jesus is no longer enslaved to the world but is now a slave of Christ and His righteousness (Rom. 6:18; 1 Corinthians 7:22).
  • Always be ready to give a defense for your hope. This is to be done gently and respectfully—never with anger or condemnation.
  • Keep a good conscience. You can’t foresee how God may use your example. Perhaps your righteous behavior and words will influence others to see their own sin and turn to Christ.

Even though our culture looks very dark, Christ can use your light to show someone the way to Jesus.

As a parent Joseph may have had many more surprises not recounted in scripture. What we do know of him is that he always responded, made the necessary adjustments and took action all the while with an appropriate degree of faith and surrender to God.

Bishop Joseph Perry

Frank J Casella, CMCS-Director

Manhood Monday: The Message of Easter

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

From Today’s Readings:

Monday in the Octave of Easter

Alleluia Ps 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Cardinal Cupich Easter Reflection
Click here to view in other languages

God bless your day.

The CMCS-Team


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo: ‘Flowers in the Field’ Copyright 2020 Frank J Casella on Fine Art America

Now that the days of the Lord’s Passion have drawn to a close, may you who celebrate the gladness of the Paschal Feast come with Christ’s help, and exulting in spirit, to those feasts that are celebrated in eternal joy.

Amen!

“This is what God wants us to learn in this time of worldwide crisis — that we are one family, one Body united in the blood and water that flows from the heart of Christ, joined together in a beautiful, supernatural solidarity of compassion.”

Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of US Catholic Bishops

Nothing and no one can separate us from God’s love! That is the message of Easter!

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.

Applause

 

purple-flowers-wpring-garden-photo-frankjcasella

 

Dear Friend,

Do you love yourself for who you are as a person, or for what you do?

As I go out with my camera to photograph how people relate to each other through their body language, I find many of us judge our success by the applause of our audience.

In other words, we do our best work in life, and give our best performance, when we judge ourselves not by results but rather by hard work that builds fruit in people.

For example, when I create a new art photograph my purpose is to share truth, hope, goodness and love, and not look at the sale or the people who may like it or not.

We should applaud ourselves when our life and work solves a problem, fulfills a need, serves a constructive purpose, or lifts others to a higher level.

This to me fosters true happiness in the person who we are.

Enjoy your day!

Frank

Frank J Casella is a professional photographer and executive director of Catholic Men Chicago Southland.

Photo Copyright Frank J Casella All Rights Reserved here