How Do You Witness Jesus as a Catholic Man?

Many of us Men who are in sales (aren’t we all in sales in some form or way?) know about having an elevator pitch. This is usually a ten-second statement about what we do for a living or the services we provide. Well, guy’s, what is your elevator pitch for Jesus? Some people call this your spiritual mission statement.

Back in the day when I was involved with a Business Men’s Bible Study, represented by several Christian faiths, there was a saying we had that went something like “You know a Christian when he walks through a room”. So, reflecting on this, how does your life as a Catholic Man serve as a witness to your circle of influence, your co-workers, and as spiritual leader of your family?

For example, one day I was listening to a podcast by Bishop Robert Barron about Evangelizing through Social Media. What it came down to, as he put it, is you don’t only look at the comments on your SM posts but, know that for every Comment, Like, or Share there are twenty-five or more who’ve seen it.

And so goes with walking through a room. If it were Jesus don’t you think His presence in a room today would make a statement, no matter if the people in the room knew it where Him or not?

No, you’re not Jesus, but, how’s it going for you?

For example, when I met St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta you could feel ‘LOVE’ radiate from them. Do people know you’re a Christian by your love, as the song goes?

The bottom line is, I think, that all of our lives are a work in progress, helping each other make it through life.

It’s what our Episcopal Liaison, Bishop Joseph Perry, calls “intentional discipleship“. Do we really love Jesus as a Catholic man, with Christ in our hearts? In other words, is Jesus the center of our life or do we just have good intentions without right-action?

So, what about that elevator pitch … do you have one? Do you have a life mission statement?

For example, my life mission is “To be the best version of the Man that God has called me to be, the best husband and father for my family, and to be a ‘real’ person to those around me”. A Life Mission is making the Mission Statement personal to the point of living it, eating it, breathing it, sleeping it, etc. (you get the point). It’s transforming Holy Church into Holy Life(style).

If you’re interested in how to find your spiritual elevator pitch or mission statement, a good place to start is with cleansing your Soul through Confession. The next step is to work slowly, day-by-day, to develop the Virtues of a Catholic Man. Many of the Saints, for example, transformed their shortcomings into Virtues. Learn more on the CMCS Website.

Finally, make time to pray each day and ask Jesus to speak to you; and go to Mass on a regular basis. Work to be the spiritual leader in your household (if married) and in the community – There’s no greater and fulfilling a challenge for a man than to be a Catholic.

Men in the church (pews) is seen less than in the sports stadium, have you noticed?

Why is that?

What do you think would happen if your love for Jesus was MORE than your love for [enter sport here] ??

And when you’re in the stadium, how do you witness Jesus as a Catholic Man?

 

Frank J Casella is Executive Director of Catholic Men Chicago Southland, and co-founder of Cathoic Chicago Men’s Confernece.

 

 

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Your Struggle Is Part Of Your Story

We all go through the dark moments in life. If you’re like me, you try to take the easy way out in moving towards the light. The thing is, often times until we go through the struggles we really don’t learn the full story.

For example, in times of struggles I often prayed for God to show me the way, but I never seemed to find any answers. Often times, after the fact, it is revealed to me that because I didn’t wait on God in His timing that I missed out on the blessing. Because I tried to avoid what I thought would experience pain or challenge.

Had I meant what I prayed for God to show the way, and not take it back as soon as I gave it to Him, because this is the easy way, then people and circumstances would have come into my path to show the way … and the rest of the story would be revealed.

I have lived through job layoffs, health setbacks, car accidents, people and their shortcomings, long-term unemployment, marriage issues, and the inevitable short on money when there is an ’emergency’ need, to name a few. In all of these I have learned that my viewpoint is not always God’s viewpoint. That I’m usually focused on my needs, and God is focused on using my circumstance to bring others into relationship with him, in addition to meeting my immediate need.

One other thing I’ve learned from all this is that, many times we struggle because we don’t know our life mission. That when we know our mission, some people call this your ‘why’, and we find a way to serve others through our mission, then we have less struggles in life. Because many times serving others without a mission we are fighting ourselves or getting in our own way. We should see others through our mission to know how to best serve them.

Broken relationships, for example, are like a vase that falls off the table and breaks into many small pieces. Depending how we look at it, if we try to put the vase (relationship) back together piece by piece seeking for God to show us through the struggle, instead of looking at serving self before the other person or giving up and taking the easy way out, that vase has the potential to become a beautiful mosaic.

You have to decide how important the struggle is to you, and grow through it, and how much you want God to complete the story in your life.

Jesus had to go onto the Cross to do the will of God. This struggle that He encountered was and is a part of His story. What struggles have you experienced that are a part of your story?

Reflect for a moment on how you can better allow God to radiate His love for a beautiful life from your past struggles and storms.

God’s will is that we depend on Him.

 

Frank J Casella is Co-founder of Catholic Chicago Men’s Conference, and Executive Director of Catholic Men Chicago Southland Apostolate.

 

 

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Easter Message from Bishop Joseph N. Perry

We walk with the Lord this week in his suffering and keep vigil with him for his resurrection. The grace and merit given the death and resurrection of Jesus is communicated to us in our Baptism. We consciously absorb these mysteries and their graces by our participation in the Church’s liturgies this Holy Week: Palm Sunday the Lord’s entrance into the city of Jerusalem; the commemoration of his Last Supper and arrest on Holy Thursday; his death and burial on Good Friday; the Holy Saturday Vigil where we move with some powerful scripture passages from darkness to light, receive new converts to Catholic faith and fellowship, renew our baptismal vows and celebrate the resurrection. Come the feast of the Resurrection next Sunday, Christians climb to the rooftops to shout out to the world, again, the greatest piece of news ever, namely, that our God in Jesus in alive, when evil men meant him dead and the life he now has is promised all of us who believe in him while we await His return to take us with him.

It helps not to skip to Easter Sunday unless we have walked with the Lord through his passion. We can’t experience Easter appropriate without having gone through Good Friday. This remains a metaphor for all our experiences of life. I think of it this way:

• If someone we loved died tragically and we were not there with them, our affection for that person would drive us to want to know every detail every minute, every second of their passion and death. We would want to walk their path, rehearse each step, each place that led up to that loved one’s death, as if to be with that person vicariously when we could not be there with him or her when it happened.

• We have heard of people traveling to Normandy, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, even the rough streets of the city for just this purpose. “I want to know!” “I need to know how it happened and why…” we say. It is the same with Jesus. Our love and admiration for our Savior leads us to rehearse the significant steps of his passion and the loss of his life for we could not be there yet we know what happened has impact on us.

Holy Week contains special days for our walk with the Lord. Consult your parish Holy Week schedule for the times of services. Take your spouse and children with you so that the graces of this holy season can embrace you and your loved ones.

 

~ Bishop Joseph N. Perry

 

 

 

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Accepting the Authority of Jesus

( Jesus said ): “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”

As followers of Jesus, life is God’s gift to us. What we do with our lives is our gift to God. I’ve learned this the hard way. Here are some examples and what it taught me … 

If you are a business owner, how many times have you looked to make the sale, instead of look to provide benefit and value?

When you see someone hurting, do you try to help them and pray for them, or do you walk away?

When you walk through a room do people know you’ve been there by your love?

As a Man, how many times do you talk to a Woman or look at her as if she is an ‘object’, instead of as a person … another man’s daughter .. and a child of God?

All of us who are Catholic are to give of ourselves without looking for what we will get in return. When we do this with a pure heart, we are accepting the authority of Jesus, and God will give us a good return in the way that His will sees fit.

“Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”  Luke 6:38 

You cannot out give God. Don’t even try. Give with a pure heart and it will be given back to you many times over. Expect it to be in a way that you don’t expect, but it will be what you need.

 

Frank J Casella is Executive Director of Catholic Men Chicago Southland

You Can be Healed by Jesus and His Divine Mercy

“All Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation are celebrations of the highest importance on the Church’s liturgical calendar. These days, plus a few others, are known as solemnities.

Two solemnities are so important that the Church celebrates them for eight days. We call these solemnities, octaves. They are Christmas and Easter. Essentially, Christmas Day and Easter Sunday are celebrated for eight days each.”

via You Can be Healed by Jesus and His Divine Mercy : The Integrated Catholic Life™.

CMCSVirutes – Divine Mercy Sunday

twim-20-shareable-image-englishOn May 5, 2000, five days after the canonization of St. Faustina, the Vatican decreed that the Second Sunday of Easter would henceforth be known as Divine Mercy Sunday. Learn here about who St. Faustina was and why we observe Divine Mercy Sunday.

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