As Catholic Men, This Is Our Salvation In Jesus ….

The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said,
“I am the bread that came down from heaven, ”
and they said,
“Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph?
Do we not know his father and mother?
Then how can he say,
‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Stop murmuring among yourselves.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

Jn 6:41-51

One day, at my parish men’s group discussion based on the Gospel reading above, one man spoke about how he is a convert to the Faith, and how this scripture came to life convincing him to change his life verse to John 6:54‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.’. You see, he says that when he was a Protestant this was never talked about, however, as Catholic’s this is our salvation in Jesus.

As a Catholic man you may not have heard of a life verse, but in Protestant circles a life verse is known for a Christian to attach oneself to a scripture verse that speaks to them or illustrates their life mission in Jesus. But you don’t have to be a Protestant to have a live verse, for example, mine is Luke 9:62Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Do you have a life verse? If not, what do you think it might be?

Also, I’m sure you’ve heard of being Born Again, this is when a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, prays the sinners prayer, and works then to develop a personal relationship with Jesus. They can then call themselves a Born-Again Christian.

As a Catholic, when we eat the bread (Host) and drink from the cup at Mass, we have Christ in us. Jesus at the Last Supper gave the Disciples the power to consecrate bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. A Catholic Priest is a decedent of the Disciples. This is why when you come to an CMCS Bishop Perry’s Men’s Forum we not only have Mass, but we challenge you to grow in holiness. That you develop your salvation with Christ, through the Catholic sacraments, to be the center of your life.

Back when I was in college, I was a ‘steeple chaser’ in that I traveled from one denomination to another seeking what I believe and why. Often at these church services the pastor would do what is known as an Altar Call. This is when members of the congregation were invited up to the church platform so the pastor or a minister could pray over us as we accepted Jesus as our Savior and we made a commitment to developing this relationship. This brought me to the realization that every Sunday at Mass, us Catholic’s go forth to the Altar to receive the living Eucharist and to present ourselves before the Lord as a living sacrifice.

So, I ask this question, do you believe that the Eucharist is the living Body and Blood of Jesus Christ?
Do you believe that when you receive this living Eucharist, this is your salvation in Jesus?
Two simple questions, yet with a positive, powerful, lasting impact.

‘whoever eats this bread will live forever’.

At CMCS you will find along with our mission statement that we believe “It is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church, revealed by the Holy Spirit and preserved from any possibility of error, that the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ are truly and substantially present in the Most Holy Eucharist.” CCC 1373-1375. Eucharist is not a symbol. The Mass is not a pageant or play acting or a skit anymore than the Lord’s horrendous death on the cross was a skit.

If only we knew how God regards this Sacrifice, we would risk our lives to be present at a single Mass.

Saint Padre Pio 1887-1968

Thank you for reading. Enjoy your day!

Frank J Casella, CMCS-Director

Trust In God

The thing we have as Catholic men is to live out our salvation in Christ through the Sacraments.

20 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid, for God has come only to test you and put the fear of him upon you so you do not sin.”
21 So the people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.

Exodus 20:20-21

How is the battle going?

I met with Deacon Coleman one day, from Zacchaeus House ministry, he is a member of the CMCS-Team. We got to talking about ministry to men, how guys worry about work and family, about providing and how to live their faith.

Like how many guys need jobs, and how some union guys go into poverty because they can’t do side-work while waiting their turn on the list for a job. There are marriages and relationships with strife because of worry and (living up to) expectations, feelings that we are all falling short of our goal.

The answer to all of this is to slow down and trust in God. Simply said but not simple to do.

Why?

Because do you find most of us guys are spending too much time not trusting in God, though we say that we do, but trusting in ourselves? Or listening to others on social media instead of listening to God?

Once we realize our way isn’t working is when we seek God and pray for answers. And anger happens usually when things are not going our way.

Many of us too fear silence … quiet time with the Lord.

This is where CMCS comes in. Here is a movement of men who, whether online or one-on-one, or through our annual events, is a place where we learn about the common challenges we face as men in the workplace and at home, on our spiritual journey.

I, as Director, struggle with trusting in God too…. For one, how to be the voice of reason here after meeting with several of you one-on-one about developing your holiness. Sometimes I try too hard to get it right, instead of trusting the Holy Spirit to speak to you through me.

You see,  God designed us men as problem solvers, and the best way to solve a problem is to spend time in prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit so we can meet God where He is at work .

… that is our goal as Catholic men. Yes, easier said than done.

Embrace the darkness. If we have developed trust in God in the light, we’ll embrace Him in the darkness, and in fact, we’ll even embrace the darkness as His path for us.

In other words, when we experience darkness, we’ll back away if our faith is weak, but we’ll move into it if our faith has been strengthened by years of experience in seeing God’s faithfulness, grace, and power.

The thing we have as Catholic men is to live out our salvation in Christ through the Sacraments.

Here is one tip:

“It is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church, revealed by the Holy Spirit and preserved from any possibility of error, that the Body and Blood,Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ are truly and substantially present in the Most Holy Eucharist.”  CCC 1373-1375. Eucharist is not a symbol. The Mass is not a pageant or play acting or a skit anymore than the Lord’s horrendous death on the cross was a skit.

Now what are you waiting for? Go into battle!

Frank J Casella