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

Manhood Monday: Being a Disciple of Jesus

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

From Today’s Readings:

Alleluia Jn 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

[14:6] The truth: in John, the divinely revealed reality of the Father manifested in the person and works of Jesus. The possession of truth confers knowledge and liberation from sin (Jn 8:32).

“Truth be told, however, Jesus doesn’t want our admiration of him. He wants our discipleship. There’s a difference. Simply, admiring Jesus Christ will not get you saved. Being a disciple of Jesus demands a conscientious, calculated, intentional and determined commitment made to Him and his counsel.”

Bishop Joseph Perry

God bless your day.

The CMCS-Team


Frank’s Photo of the Week

When I saw this moment in time, of a plow in a garden with a chair, it reminded me of my favorite verse from the Bible. Luke 9:62 – “Jesus Said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God”.

What this means to me is like when a farmer plows a field they must be committed to the task to reap the fruit of their labor. Likewise, Jesus in this scripture speaks of the seriousness, and the unconditional nature, of Christian Discipleship. That we must be committed to, and not distracted from, the proclaiming of the Kingdom of God, no matter how briefly.

So then looking at this picture, and the illumination from the morning sun, it’s as if the Holy Spirit is shining on this field with the plow. That there is no time to rest when it’s time to plow.

A picture with a good reminder that God is with us through our work in this world.

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 each year. All men from around the Archdiocese of Chicago and around 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

 

If You Don’t Stand For What You Believe, People Won’t Know Where You Stand

By Frank J Casella

Have you ever met a person who says they believe one thing, but then does something else?

Have you ever faced making a decision and can’t find the best answer, or the best direction to go.

In my volunteer work with Catholic Men the topic often comes up about how to make decisions. It usually comes down to based on our personal belief system. Specifically, it’s important to us that we make decisions in the work place and at home that reflect Jesus Christ as the center of our lives.

My late father often said the words, “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. This is why it’s important to know what we believe. In fact, even an atheist knows what he believes .. That he doesn’t believe in God or Jesus.

Many converts to the Catholic Faith I have witnessed are on fire for the Truth of the Church more so than those like me who have been brought up in the faith.

Why is this?

I think it’s because they (converts) have made a decision to the Faith instead of being born into it.

When we make a conscience decision about anything in life, instead of that decision handed to us, then we have an intentional commitment to it.

The thing is, most of us I find try not to make intentional decisions, but rather just live for the moment as long as it takes care of our needs, wants, and personal desires.

So, if you are a Christian, how do you make a conscience decision based on what you believe?

The way I try to do it is to look at the person or matter through the eyes of Christ. To first ask myself if this decision is on my agenda or on God’s agenda. How does Jesus see them or this matter, and how would He respond. … through me.

Many times when I seek where God is at work in the matter, elements come into play that go beyond whatever I could do on my own.

I also try to live my life as a prayer; to have a conversation with God all day long, and do more listening than talking. This takes practice being in tune with the Holy Spirit, and listening for ‘the voice’. Test the small decisions to know that you hear it right first, before moving to the big decisions.

Finally, I spend a few minutes each day just to think. In silence.

After I drain my brain of the many concerns of the day, several things come to mind that I write as a thought and not as a to-do list. It becomes easier over time, as you become more serious and disciplined, and sincere, then God will speak, you will see.

By doing all the above you will find over time that making a decision becomes more easy, and you will have clarity over a matters faster, because you know what you believe.

Some decisions are not made for us alone, and this is were we bring in trusted council to help us with discernment, such as a priest or spiritual director, or trusted friend.

Why is all of this important?

Because our lives are just passing through here on Earth. So the time we have left is meant to make a positive difference for the next generation, compared to when we showed up.

And we do this by making the right decisions in the little everyday things, so that over time we have a satisfying life well lived, rather than a life of confusions and wanderings.

Said another way, I’ve never met a person that served themselves who was happy and full of joy, and living a satisfying life.

So, decide on what you believe, and then let that belief transform your decisions in this life. Sometimes you will find this is opposite of what the world tells you to do.

But, then, if you don’t stand for what you believe, people won’t know where you stand .. including yourself.

 

Frank J Casella is co-founder of Chicago Catholic Men’s Conference, and executive director of Catholic Men Chicago Southland Apostolate.

Portions of this post are from this article on LinkedIn Blog

 

 

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What Is A CMCS Man?

Come Holy Spirit, Command Me To Do Your Will.

 

If you’ve been to the Catholic Chicago Men’s Conference, then you’ve been challenged to bring the encounter home. To make a commitment to ‘Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man’, and to be a CMCS Man.

CMCS is Catholic Men Chicago Southland, and who is the sponsor of the Catholic Chicago Men’s Conference. What this means is that although our men’s conference and our online real estate is open and available to Catholic men of Chicagoland, our apostolate has a main focus offline to foster the holiness of Catholic men on the south end of the archdiocese of Chicago.

But don’t let the title of CMCS Man create barriers for you, it’s simply what we call it. In the same way, we call a parish leader the man who coordinates men’s ministry in his parish. This could be a men’s group who meets on a regular basis, or a one time event such as a parish prayer breakfast (that we can help you with).

The main purpose though of a CMCS Man is how you put your Faith into action. How you engage with other Catholic men, for example, meet other guys about your Faith weekly or monthly, or for Men’s Bible study in our homes.

When you attend the conference we give you the A Man’s Prayer’ prayer card. Men tell us that when they pray this each day it transforms their life, usually with an outward thinking mindset rather than inward on self.  If you’d like us to send you more prayer cards, both English and Spanish, for your men’s group or your parish contact us.

The other resource is Bishop Perry’s Virtues of a Catholic Man. The method we suggest is to ‘perfect’ each Virtue in any order until you have them all completed (mastered). This becomes very rewarding and always a work in progress, yet what comes with it is your spiritual nurturing to make Christ the center of your life. God will speak to your heart, you will see.

One thing that CMCS has established since day one is how the purpose of a non-profit mission statement is to transform a person, from good intentions, into right-action.  For this reason we provide encouragement though the CMCS Letter and archive. You can also call or email us for support in your Catholic walk. I personally meet with men weekly over coffee to help them with discernment towards growing in holiness.

We invite you to contact us about your spiritual growth or if you’re looking for ideas relating to men’s spirituality. Please know that Bishop Perry and the CMCS Team are praying for you always!

The Annual Men’s Conference is really the by-product of all we do at CMCS. The life adjustments that we all make the rest of the year determines our spiritual life, and determines the impact we have with our family and our community. We’ve known this to have an impact for up to three generations.  So this, right here, is the core and virtues of the CMCS Man.

Thank you very much for your interest, and valuable time and investment in what it means to be a CMCS Man!

Frank J Casella, CMCS Executive Director
Co-Founder Catholic Chicago Men’s Conference

 

Photo: Frank J Casella © All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

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Called To Holiness – Tools For The Catholic Man

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. – Daniel 9:3

By Frank J Casela

“Some day I want to be like him”.  Have you ever said those words about your Dad?  “Some day I want to be like him”.
 
If your answer is ‘Yes’, consider yourself blessed.  In our culture, boy’s (and girls) with Fathers absent in homes, or who do not have presence, usually beget Father’s absent in homes.

The same is true for teaching (by example) the Catholic Faith in our home. Recent studies tell us that Dads determine the church habits of their children and thus to a significant degree their eternal destiny.  According to one study, if a father does not go to church no matter how faithful the mother is, only one child in fifty will become regular church goers.

Many Men who are high-powered in the board room, are passive in the family room. We come home from work and – like a big kid – veg out and play games first with our kids, instead of mentoring them by giving our wife time (if she is home from also working) – and cultivate the marriage.  You know how it goes: “the best gift that a Father can give his kids is to love their Mother”.

Men — In the home moms do the nurturing … dads build identity.

Whether or not you are married, what is your character as a man?  What is Character?  Character is what you do when no body is looking. In other words, what are you thinking when you see a woman in church wearing (immodest) flip-flops and short shorts?  Do you think about your own needs and desires or, do you view her as a person and women, another man’s daughter, and see her heart? (It is known in the Vatican for women to ‘cover-up’ their beauty, as to not distract from the Mass)

Men — In the Bible, Eve sinned because Adam was silent …. are you silent?

… Or are you holy and courageous, work to improve your marriage, be better father to your children, grow in virtue, serve the needs of others more generously, be active participants in your parish, and be a better citizen.
 
Here is my short list of tools for the Catholic Man:

When I meet Dad’s for coffee each week, many of them admit to me their kids get everything they want, more than they themselves ever had as a kid … but they don’t do anything about it.   The Catholic Bible says “Do not withhold discipline from youths; if you beat them with the rod, they will not die”. Prov. 23:13  In other words, men, it’s okay … give yourself permission to tell your child “NO”. Your kids will respect you for it.
… Pope Francis said on February 8th, 2015: “Effective fathers do not create robot sons who merely repeat verbatim what has been drilled into them. Rather, an effective father transmits wisdom right into his son’s core, enabling him to feel and act, to speak and judge with wisdom and righteousness.”  It is not easy to transmit this heritage of wisdom; a father must be close, gentle but firm with his children.

Penetrate and fill your wife’s heart with your love an affection.  Because, guy’s, when we don’t fill our wives heart, someone or something else will.  It goes back to Adam and Eve: Adam was not protecting Eve’s heart. Women share with me about their husbands saying that “I don’t want his money …as much as I want HIM”.  In other words, men, what she means is that when she doesn’t have YOU … she wants your money.

Read your Bible daily.  Don’t have one?  Start with the “Today’s Reading” on USCCB.org.  Make sure that what you’re reading is a Catholic Bible, as it has the added books called the Apocrypha giving you the fullness of our Catholic Faith. The Bears’ Pat McCaskey shared at our Chicago Men’s Conference that you can read the Bible in a year and still have time off for Christmas.   Don’t forget to have a copy of the Catechism too.

Live the Virtues of a Catholic Man by Bishop Joseph Perry.  Men — Start with one virtue and don’t move to the next until you have it mastered. Download it here.  Live them!

Join or start a Parish Men’s Small Group.  This is where a half-dozen or so Catholic Men meet to share and encourage each other about the challenges they face in the workplace and at home. Contact us for information.

Spend time with your children every day.  Either reading to them if they are young, or in a meaningful conversation.
MEN — The average Dad spends only seven minutes a day with each of his children.
… Pope Francis, in fact, said “To form a child with a wise heart, a father must be present to his children, he has to “be there” for them. This presence is exemplified by Joseph, who famously, never speaks,  yet he provides a silent witness which is powerful.”  Pope Francis understands the dynamics of good fathering – To be present.

Embrace your Catholic Faith. Trust it, and make your life – more of Christ and less of you.   Many of us Men identify ourselves by our paycheck or the sports Jersey we wear, instead of being a child of God, Husband, or Father. Where do we turn when we lose our job or that Jersey gets too small for us to wear?
Men — Give your personal agenda to God … don’t take it back … then watch what He does with it.

Attend weekly Mass or regular Adoration with the Eucharist.  …. and pray for and WITH your wife and family.  Click for A Man’s Prayer by Bishop Perry.  For example, the greatest image I have of my late father is how he prayed each morning in in a room with the lights out – just him and God – before leaving for work. The greatest image my boys say they have of me is how I kiss the crucifix each morning as soon as I wake up.
Men — When you go to Mass each Sunday, bring yourselves to the Altar … to the Eucharist … as a living sacrifice.

Turn off the TV and read some books!  ‘Journey to Heaven’  — Randy Hain  or  ‘Be A Man’ —  Fr. Larry Richards  Don’t have time …. again, turn off the TV.  Find resources for Catholic men here.

Men — in the end, life is God’s gift to you … what you do with your life is your gift to God.

Make a commitment to holiness …. In the words of Pope Francis “The Church, our Mother, is committed to supporting with all her strength the good and generous presence of fathers in families, because they are, for the new generations, irreplaceable custodians and mediators of faith in goodness, in justice and in the protection of God, as Saint Joseph.”

Thus the mission of CMCS — Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man.

 
Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. – Daniel 9:3

If this article was meaningful to you please share it with your friends.
 

Frank J Casella is Executive Director of Catholic Men Chicago Southland CMCSVirtues.org

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