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

Manhood Monday: Hope in the Lord

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

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Third Week of Lent

Verse Before The Gospel PS 130:5, 7

I hope in the LORD, I trust in his word;
with him there is kindness and plenteous redemption.

Even now and as we grow older, our faith can grow through our experiences, especially if we can tune in and recognize those moments either as they happen or when we look back on them. Many times, those moments can feel like interruptions as they occur. But when we look back we may realize they were moments of grace.

Most of us inherited our faith.  It was bequeathed to us by previous generations.  We were brought to the baptismal font as infants.  We grew up in the church. We were tutored in the basic truths of the faith.  We were fortunate if we saw those truths exemplified in our families.  Loving parents, fellow Christians, clergy and other model adults made the idea of a loving God believable.  The necessity of sharing with our brothers and sisters – siblings – planted in us the seeds of generosity and sharing.  Receiving fair treatment along life’s way helped us to learn to trust.  By being forgiven we learned to forgive others while learning that we are loved by God despite our mistakes.  In other words, Christian faith was a part of our development.  It was natural to become a follower of Jesus Christ. We cannot remember when Christianity was not a part of our lives.

Bishop Joseph Perry: ‘Come and See’

God bless your day.

The CMCS-Team


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo” ‘Prayer Offerings’ Copyright 2016 Frank J Casella on Fine Art America

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19):

“With the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, we are confronted once more with the fragility of our lives, and again we are reminded of our common humanity — that the peoples of this world are our brothers and sisters, that we are all one family under God.

God does not abandon us, he goes with us even now in this time of trial and testing. In this moment, it is important for us to anchor our hearts in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor. Let us draw closer to one another in our love for him, and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives.

United with our Holy Father Pope Francis, let us pray in solidarity for our brothers and sisters here and around the world who are sick. Let us pray for those who have lost loved ones to this virus. May God console them and grant them peace.

We pray also for doctors, nurses, and caregivers, for public health officials and all civic leaders. May God grant them courage and prudence as they seek to respond to this emergency with compassion and in service to the common good.

In this time of need, I invite all the faithful to seek together the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I share this prayer with you (PDF).”

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.

The Value of Hope

By Frank J Casella

Hope.

As I go through my daily life the Lord is showing me more and more how everyone is in search of hope. The economy, employment, world affairs, policies and programs, health care, religion and politics, to name a few. 

All of these bring concern and cause us to look for a sense of hope. One thing I’m seeing since the big tax cut talked about in Washington, is businesses talking about more prosperity, and utilities talking about lowering pricing. But I’ve not met anyone who is experiencing this … in their pockets … yet they have much hope for when it starts to take effect. 

Some people say that the problems of the world have to do with racism, or intolerance of one kind or another. There seems to be a dividing line between people who have faith in God, and others who say faith in God is a distraction and only causes more problems to expectations or progress. 

The people I watch who do prison ministry say that over ninety percent of the men in prison have a broken relationship with their fathers. This is the root of their anger. Ministers find that when these men reconcile with their fathers, or if their fathers are not living to prayerfully and truthfully forgive them, that these men start on the path of hope towards inner peace and less anger. They no longer express anger through their actions.

Hope is so valuable to our lives, two of the many examples happens to be one of the most downloaded shows of the Zig Ziglar podcasts. It’s also one of the most used words or topics on the Seth Godin blog.

Pope Francis says of hope,

“We must help one another … in the many needs of everyday life, but also when we are in need of hope. “

And this brings me to my childhood, when I didn’t talk much and was thus studying people and behaviors. How I saw then the way people were searching for hope, and how today the purpose for my pictures (as a photographer) and how I co-founded this Catholic apostolate to men.  

This is what I call my ‘why’.

… When I help others to find hope, and see it living in the soul of their eyes, it gives me hope in the many needs of everyday life. Priceless!

Has anyone ever asked you “what is your ‘why'”??  If so, what do you tell them?  Also, what is your hope or what gives you hope in life?


Frank J Casella is a photographer, and co-founder of the Catholic Chicago Men’s Forum, and Catholic Men Chicago Southland

On Living Our Lives To Bring Goodness Into The World

Branch Out
Photo © Frank J Casella All Rights Reserved here

 

Branch Out

By Frank J Casella

When I saw this moment of the golden hour morning sunlight illuminate the twisting branches of a tree, it made me think about family, friends, and the (end of year) holidays.

Our lives are a work in progress, they take many twists and turns, and each of us takes a different direction in life.

As we gather for the holidays, sometimes it can be very trying. Said another way, sometimes our friends can be more like family than our own family.

My take on it — branch out.

My late brother used to pick on me often at family gatherings, almost to the point that I didn’t show up at times. After he passed away it hit me in a big way what he was doing. That he was trying to express how much he believed in me but didn’t know how say it or show it. He really loved me as a brother.

Two days before he passed, it was he who called me to tell me how much he loved me.

If we allow the actions of others to build resentment towards them, we face the danger of spending the rest of our lives judging them instead of loving them for the person they are.

It is said that ‘hate corrupts the container it is in.’

All this to say, we branch out when our actions are what bring Family together or not. Be patient and try to see what others are saying or where they are coming from.

I learned from a very important friend the hard way, that every person has a right to their opinion. We also have a right to accept it or progress on without it.

For those of us who live our Faith, to branch out means that He is the vine and we are the branches. See everyone through the eyes of Christ. Love them, don’t judge them …

Yes, easier said than done. But unless we are on the edge of our chair, then we are not depending on God’s will and living our faith.

 

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

 

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