Finding a Remedy For Your Problems and Needs.

Everyone Has Problems and Needs.  What Are Yours?

As a Man, you are a natural problem solver.

So, where do you go to find answers?

Do you study the real problem, or only blame the symptoms?

Symptoms like: Can’t find a woman to marry, wife won’t agree, kids don’t want to listen, inadequacy or depression, too many bad habits, and the worst symptom of all, don’t know what God wants of me.  

Usually Men blame the situation rather than take ownership when the matter falls short.

I have RARELY heard a Man say to me, “Frank, it didn’t work out, and it was all my fault”.

Many times all it takes to solve a problem or work through an issue is to share it with like-minded Men who you can trust to have your best interest at heart. The bad decisions you make sometimes are because of the (Men) outside influences you keep.  Life is like a trash can. The trash you put inside of you comes out of you in the form of your words and actions.

Encouragement from a parish small men’s group, or just a devout Catholic Man, can make the difference with the challenges you face in the workplace and at home everyday. My rule is if my circle of friends is not leading me to Jesus and to Heaven, then they’re pulling me apart.

When problems seem to be out of control, usually Men will indicate going to a shrink, before they go to confession.  There is a place for counsel, whether it be a psychologist, a spiritual director, or a workshop. However, confession, and making yourself right with God, many times can be the baby-steps that sets you in the direction of real positive change.

Your relationship with God is the ‘pebble in the pond’ that has a ripple effect on your positive connections with others and the world around you.

One small step that many Men who are friends of CMCS practice is “A Man’s Prayer”.  They pray this everyday, and it has over time set the tone for their outlook on life as a Man and as a Catholic.  If you don’t have this prayer card contact us.  We can also send you a stack for you to hand-out to other men in your neighborhood or parish, or give to your pastor to place them in back of church.

Daily prayer changes things, from your heart, to your family, and into your community.  You will also see God better use you to answer your prayers, and the prayers of others too.

Do you need a money miracle?  How do you react to pornography?  Is your wife your ‘enemy’, or the other way around?  Do you have trouble getting to Sunday Mass, or getting your wife or family to go with you?  Are you having an affair – with a person who is not your wife, your computer, sports, booze, or some other vice – that keeps you from your relationship with God and / or your wife?  Do your kids spend too much time texting their friends … at the dinner table?   Know that you can turn to CMCS!

Talk with us when you are looking for a remedy and have nowhere else to turn.  Prayer in numbers is a powerful thing for change ….. to first change us ….. and then our circumstances.

It’s all about helping each other make it through life.

Speak your mind below or share this blog post with a friend.

Frank J Casella, CMCS-Director

(CMCS Archives 2012)

Love Neighbor. Love God.

Love is the only thing that can conquer hate.

Watch this video for the Gospel Daily Reflection for Saturday July 18, 2020.

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. To become configured to be more like Jesus.

Jesus shows us that instead of cutting people down to carry out injustice, reach out to those who know their need for healing and forgiveness. Prayer should lead us to the depths of loving and serving others.

To do this, instead of taking action for justice Jesus first withdrew, as should we to address our own need for healing our own wounds.

Love is the only thing that can conquer hate, darkness, and intolerance.

hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. . . . The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. . . . and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love.

Martin Luther King

Thankfully God doesn’t cancel us, He redeems us.

Manhood Monday: Faithful In the Journey

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

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Alleluia PS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

* [Psalm 95] Twice the Psalm calls the people to praise and worship God (Ps 95:126), the king of all creatures (Ps 95:35) and shepherd of the flock (Ps 95:7a7b). The last strophe warns the people to be more faithful than were their ancestors in the journey to the promised land (Ps 95:7c11). This invitation to praise God regularly opens the Church’s official prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours.

When we stand before God, we will be accountable for our own lives, not for our ancestors

Reverend Franklin Graham

So many children are growing up in broken families, which causes great trauma. The devil loves to attach to our traumas and cause us to do things we don’t really want to do. That is why healing is such an important piece of what the world needs today. Without healing, these traumas get passed on from one generation to the next and they get worse. I believe that broken marriages and fatherlessness, which causes deep trauma, is the root cause for many of our societal ills today.

Fr. Burke Masters

God bless your day.

Catholic Men Chicago Southland Apostolate (CMCS)

Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo: ‘The Door of our Hearts‘ – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella

No man has ever risen to the real stature of spiritual manhood until he has found that it is finer to serve somebody else than it is to serve himself.

Woodro Wilson

Many of us lock the front doors to our houses, but do we do the same with our hearts?

When we fail to be open and welcoming, we fall to legalism and judgement, to name a few.

The paradox of leadership, both in the workplace and at home, is to ask what it means to be servants of those under us.

When we take the time to do the most humble tasks, we become a better leader, and find ourselves in the process.

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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We rely on contributions from readers and members of our community to keep Catholic Chicago Men Blog free. If you’d like to pay what you can for the service, we’d greatly appreciate it. These contributions touch the lives of many and help us keep investing in new technologies and better content.

Thank you for being the best part of Catholic Chicago Men Blog! Your contributions make a difference. On behalf of Bishop Joseph Perry, and all of us at Catholic Men Chicago Southland, and all of those that will be helped, thank you.

The Differences Between Men and Women are God’s Plan

PhotoArt: Summer Lovin’ – Copyright 2008 Frank J Casella

Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord. For just as woman came from man, so man is born of woman; but all things are from God.

1 Corinthians 11:11-12

[11:11–12] These parenthetical remarks relativize the argument from Gn 2–3. In the Lord: in the Christian economy the relation between the sexes is characterized by a mutual dependence, which is not further specified. And even in the natural order conditions have changed: the mode of origin described in Gn 2 has been reversed (1 Cor 11:12a). But the ultimately significant fact is the origin that all things have in common (1 Cor 11:12b).

This blog, if it is your first visit here, is sponsored by Catholic Men Chicago Southland apostolate (CMCS). Some people have the idea that CMCS is all about men. In reality CMCS is about relationships, and placing women in their rightful place of honor, because without women none of us men would even be born into this world. Just like how we wouldn’t have Jesus without Mary.

As our mission reads: “CMCS has a practical way of evangelizing Catholic men young and old, and their families, of helping them to understand what the culture often rejects – how men and women should relate to one another in complementary ways and how important husbands and fathers are to children.”

This element of personal relationships and communications between men and woman can easily get lost today and with the online world, especially social media which has become flawed from its original purpose. And this is why CMCS hosts an annual Men’s Forum, so that us guys can share our thoughts with each other on important topics. The results most often being that we come to realize how hard we are on ourselves, and how our own concerns and struggles are very similar to other Catholic men, more than we ever thought. You would most likely never learn this with an online discussion forum.

And we see from 1 Corinthians how men and women have more things in common than we may think or realize, or our culture would want us to believe, and all of this is God’s plan. This relation between the sexes is made to compliment each other, if we’d just allow ourselves to see it this way and through God’s eyes. Sometimes we need a mentor, counselor, priest, or a book to help us better relate to each other, but it is possible with effort and intention.

Once we discover that differences between the sexes, or husband and wife, are meant to be a blessing, we try to learn from each other and thank God for them and each other.

“There are no irreconcilable differences, only people who refuse to reconcile. It all begins by accepting our differences as an asset rather than a liability.”

Dr Gary Chapman

Frank J Casella, CMCS-Director

Feeding Our Habits

Eggs with Steam – Copyright 2019 Frank J Casella

Habits are an important part of our lives, when put in right perspective. Just like in the business world, systems are another word for business habits. It is said the fastest way to success in life, is to replace bad habits with good habits.

As Catholic men, we know that whatever we feed our brains is what forms our habits. Our Faith promotes through the sacraments a method to develop the good habit of study and living the scriptures everyday.

The daily readings feed us like a dinner plate of different foods: Old Testament, Psalms, New Testament, and prayers for adoration and supplication. But we have to develop the habits and spend time with it each day, and then practice it in our lives. Baby steps lead to walking our spiritual journey with the Lord.

When we make the decision to go off this path, and do things in our own thinking, it is known as sin. Feeding our habits with things like pornography, too much booze, abuse of others verbally or physically, or getting sucked into the drama of things shared on social media, can take us to a visit with our priest for confession. The good thing is that God is a God of second chances.

But the thing about second chances is we have to make the corrections so that we don’t keep going back. As Henry Ford once said, “Failure is an opportunity to begin again, only more intelligently”. Our shortcomings serve the purpose to embrace God and depend on His will for our lives.

Feeding our good habits, with Christ as the center of our lives, is what helps to transform our bad habits into virtues, and is what makes working towards being a saint is all about.

“Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us;
make our hearts burn while you speak to us.”

Bishop Joseph Perry: A Prayer for Employment

Pray this each day, whether or not you are employed.

O God, Father of us all, You bestow on us gifts and talents to develop and use in accord with your Will and to advance your kingdom on earth.  Grant to me, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, the man chosen by God to care for you in your childhood and youth, employment and work that I may with dignity provide for my family. Grant me the opportunities to use my energy and abilities for the good of those who depend upon me for care and support.  You placed me in charge of this family.  I beseech your assistance in helping me provide for them as you would have me do. You are our God and head of this family.  Amen

Bishop Joseph N Perry

Click here to download (PDF) copy

Teaching, Potential and Mercy

Note: This article about Divine Mercy Sunday is from the CMCS archives, and very timely as we are presently experiencing the Pandemic of COVID-19.

On this 2nd Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, the 1st reading celebrates the building up of the early church. The community of believers were on fire for the Lord. They were united (one heart and mind), bore witness to the Resurrection, and shared their possessions. Wonderful! Alleluia! On the other hand today’s gospel story paints a much different picture of the “first” church, the “first” community of believers. Here we see Jesus’ disciples hiding in a room, doors locked, for fear of the Jews. No witnessing going on here! The only thing they shared was FEAR and DOUBT! So what might these scripture passages say to you and me today?  Jesus spent three years teaching and training his disciples in preparation for their ultimate mission. Today I see Jesus continuing his teaching by encouraging his disciples and us to reach our God-given full potential.

One warm, sunny Spring day a few years ago, I was out in the yard doing the early prep for my garden when I heard a small voice behind me say, “Hi Papa! I wanna help”.

Now if you are anything like me, this is not the kind of help you look for when the helper is 5 years old. My initial reaction is that I know if I do it myself, I would be done and out of here much faster.

But, part of being a grandpa is giving someone we love the opportunity to develop their potential and share life’s lessons. So, I gave my grandson the responsibility of handling the water hose. All he had to do was water each plant as I put it in the ground. Well, as you can imagine, he watered everything in sight; the yard, the fence, the sidewalk, the driveway, the neighbor’s yard, himself and, on occasion, the new plants in the garden!

But in the end, we got the job done. And at the same time, I felt that the time we spent together was a time of “seed planting” in my grandson, and early preparation for later in life when knowing how to work with others and following through would be an important part of his life. In a sense, I was teaching him how to build on who he is and developing his full potential.

That’s what I see Jesus was doing with his disciples in today’s gospel. He is taking them by the hand and starting them on a journey to their full potential. Look where he found them, behind locked doors scarred, disheartened and defensive.

Uninhibited by their location, he came and breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”, the gift that would unlock the doors they were living behind. Remember, they were there so that others would not find them.

We are not living behind closed, locked doors – physically. But, this is still a gospel for us because the human condition DOES choose to live behind closed doors, or better said, closed minds. Each of us has the potential for prejudices, bad habits, negative attitudes, fears, tunnel vision, false concepts and ideas. And we stay there because we don’t want others to see others differently, or, find the “real us” either.

As he breathed on them he said: “what you forgive is forgiven; what you hold bound is bound”. In doing this, he is challenging them to live up to their full potential as given to them by God.

What we can also read into his message is this: “if you want to stay in this room, behind locked doors all your life, you can, but you don’t have too. This is not where you will have life to the fullest”.

Then Thomas comes into the picture. Remember, he wasn’t there on the first visit so he didn’t see what Jesus had done, therefore, he didn’t believe. So, he sets parameters – “I will believe if…!”  Does that sound familiar? If I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Does that sound like us?

Jesus tells us to “Love your neighbor” and we say, “God, you don’t know my neighbor”. He tells us to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”. We say, “I can’t, I want revenge…or, I might consider that right after I get even”. Jesus continues: “Give and it shall be given to you”. We say, “I’ll decide what to give and to whom”. In other words, if I don’t see the immediate value or consequence, I don’t buy it or I don’t feel compelled to obey that command.

Thomas didn’t see it either. But, Jesus refused to let him get away. He saw more in Thomas than he saw in himself.

You see, Jesus believes in the emerging person – the untapped potential – sometimes locked away in a room, deep inside us that we don’t want anyone else to see. Perhaps the real truth is, we don’t see it ourselves.

So, on behalf of Thomas and all the rest of us, Jesus, in an act of great mercy, says to him; “if that’s what it takes to set you free, then so be it. Put your hand in my side, your finger in my nail holes – if that’s what it takes!”

He is saying to Thomas and us: “I have come so you will have life – and you can’t have it locked behind closed doors, behind closed minds. You cannot do my Fathers will living in the very small world limited to only what you can see”.

Jesus knows the human being, our heart, our mind, and even the locked rooms we have.

He wants to reach in, pull us – the real us – the potential he sees, to the surface, for all the world to see – to set us free from the bondage – so we can live our lives to the fullest.

And he is going to keep coming in, coming in, coming in to those locked rooms, because he desperately wants to set us free. In his Lenten reflection booklet “Daybreaks” Fr. Ron Rolheiser says this, “The Resurrection assures us that God never gives up on us, even if we give up on ourselves”.

Brothers and sisters, today’s gospel is a story of Great Mercy. Jesus refuses to let his followers lock themselves outside of his plan for salvation.

Will we let him do the same for us?

At Mass this weekend we will join in the liturgy of the Eucharist. As devout and believing Catholic Christians we will exclaim within our hearts the same act of Faith first uttered by Thomas the Apostle “My Lord and My God.” But as praiseworthy as that act of Faith may be, as followers of Christ, it is not enough, for as Jesus himself said (Matt 7:21) “not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My father in heaven.” And God wills that we be merciful as He is Merciful. ALLELUIA.

Deacon John Rangel,
CMCS Director of Mission

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