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Manhood Monday Discussions

You're invited to the next Manhood Monday Discussions, on September 4, 2023, at 7:30pm for an hour or less conference call. Topic: 'What Is Catholic Manood' - with Deacon Alfred Coleman. Each month discussion will be a different topic. 


Join the conference call:

Dial-in number: (667) 770-1231
Access code: 9242336

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Vision: To Foster Catholic Men's Spirituality in Chicago Southland
By Ourselves We Are Weak; In God We Are Strong.
Most Reverend Joseph N Perry
Note:  From the CMCS archives - The Homily below by Bishop Joseph N. Perry for the Chicago Southland Catholic Men's Conference, held on April 22, 2017. Keynote for the event was Father Larry Richards.
It helps periodically to check in with the spiritual doctor to make sure our spiritual health is on course.  It helps to take leave from a morning of reflection like this with a resolution to improve my friendship with Christ and the duties He has assigned me as a Christian man.

The gospels give us Jesus who lived solely to please his Father.  Jesus did little without checking in with his Father first.  When asked by his disciples why he had to go off by Himself to pray so much Jesus remarked that his very food was to do the will of the Father who sent Him.

Jesus was the epitome of manhood that carried the blessing of God.  He had some tough things to get across to us and went through some tough things and finally laid down his life voluntarily to save us by reason of the cost of our waywardness and sin which we ourselves could not pay.  Following Adam and Eve’s rebellion, remarkably, astoundingly, surprisingly God decided to start all over with us, not trash us or take vengeance on us, but write a new chapter to the story. The Father asked His Son to pay that cost and Jesus did so voluntarily.  He submerged Himself in our mess and it was our mess that killed him.  We are, therefore, speechless with gratitude at Easter for our brother in Christ.

If this gratitude on our part is genuine it means we need to do something to indicate to God our gratitude, to make sure that our life’s pattern is as pleasing to God as was his only begotten Son’s.

This can sound like a luxury to men who are occupied with the problems of daily living.  Men have said,  “I would like to have a spiritual life but right now I don’t feel very holy.  I have issues to confront in my life. After I get my act together then I might have time for a spiritual life.”

Well, you don’t have to feel very holy to get underway with a spiritual life.  If we don’t make a new beginning today, we never will.  A spiritual life, gentlemen, is not a gated existence where we live in some other reality unaffected by surrounding life.  A spiritual life is what has gotten countless men into heaven having supplied the batteries needed to get through the challenges and the blessings of life.  

A spiritual life is life lived in its depths, in its fullness. Such a life is not a luxury, a spiritual focus is essential to make that journey well.  Often times the very messiness of life is the actual context for our spirituality.  God is found right there where we are struggling hardest, right there where we care most deeply, where the heart is troubled and challenged, where we are already living a spiritual life.  

If you are a married man, your job is to get you and your wife into heaven. If you are a single man it is your job to get to heaven.

To say that God is already within our lives is to say that our human journey is a graced adventure, whether acknowledged or not.  God brought us into life and accompanies us throughout life. We could not get God out of our life even if we tried.  We can walk away, but God does not walk away from us.

To have a spiritual life then is to have an awareness of the graced story we are already living.  It is to be a reflective man, a thoughtful man, and an attentive man.  Life, within and outside us shimmers with the mystery of God. The spiritual man, the one living a spiritual life has antennae to pick up the signals from mystery.  You’ve witnessed many a mystery already throughout your life’s course.

The man who does not have a spiritual life takes cues entirely from the world around, some of which can be very distracting if not misleading.  St. Augustine admitted as much of himself back in the 4th century where he admitted to God:  “you were inside; I was outside.  You were with me; I was not with you.”

Prayer – daily conversation with God throws light on the unexamined parts of our lives.  Prayer reveals to us the false self and the false gods inhabiting our lives.  Prayer brings into our awareness patterns of living and habitual reactions that need examining. We realize our brokenness and our sinfulness and therefore acknowledge our need for God’s mercy and healing.

This confrontation with the reality of who we are and have been is the beginning of our course-correction in life. It is a path of true humility, to freedom in and to a deeper, honest relationship with God.

By ourselves we are weak; in God we are strong.  A faith-filled prayerful spiritual life inevitably leads to a grateful heart, a grateful man.  And it reaps positive benefits for your marriages and your friendships.  People will notice  a new you. And a grateful heart in turn helps you grow in faith and helps you navigate your lives in confidence.

Thanks for being with us for the morning.

2017 Bishop Joseph N Perry
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The CMCS Mission: Catholic Men Chicago Southland (CMCS) is engaged in fostering holy and courageous men and proclaiming the importance of husbands and fathers to children and the family. CMCS is a Catholic Apostolate founded in 2004 by Most Reverend Joseph N. Perry, Deacon John Rangel, and Mr. Frank J Casella.
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