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Manhood Monday Discussions

You're invited to the first  Manhood Monday Discussions, on August 7, 2023, at 7:30pm for an hour or less conference call: 'How To Evangelize the World Today'. Each month discussion will be a different topic. Join from the CMCS online meeting wall - -  hope to see you then!  

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Vision: To Foster Catholic Men's Spirituality in Chicago Southland
Sand Castles
Note: This is a guest blog post by Deacon Bob Slobig, who is a Chicago Deacon and also a blogger. We'll be sharing from time to time blog entries for Catholic men by a Chicago Deacon. Enjoy!  -- Frank
Life, like skyscrapers, we are created, serve our purpose, then move out of the way for the next era. Because we are humans, though, we have the benefit of absorbing the beauty of the buildings we create.  Life is God's gift to us, how we invest our time and what we do with our lives is our gift to God. Photo: 'People and Skyscrapers - Square' 2011 Frank J Casella - Click here to purchase on my art website (and support my work with CMCS).

         Whatever human beings can do, other human beings can undo.  The Supreme Court of the United States, in its last two terms, has undone a lot of the law that had become ingrained in this country’s traditions in the past half-century.  When I was at the beach I saw people making sand castles.  One little boy, who couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4, wanted to get in on it, so he was filling a plastic cup with wet sand and turning it over.  He was just delighted to build his little castles.  And then he got up and stomped on them and destroyed them, and he laughed and laughed; he was just as delighted to destroy them as he had been to make them.  He could put them together, and he could smash them apart.  

            Along the Tri-State Tollway, you pass by the Allstate headquarters in Northbrook, an impressive campus of suburban office buildings connected by a long, enclosed second-story passageway.  This summer I drove by what had been a dependable landmark for decades, and they are tearing it all down.  I thought of Mr. Mayhem from the Allstate commercials – it’s like they turned him loose on the company’s home office, bringing it down like a sand castle.  What men built, men can also dismantle. 

            Whatever people can do, people can undo.  

            A Christian wedding is different.  What God joins together, no human being can undo.  The blessing of marriage is conferred not by the minister or even by the community, but by God living in the groom and God living in the bride.  These two call upon divine power to join them and sustain them, to empower them to face all the rest of life’s challenges together, to experience all the rest of their lives’ joys and sorrows together.

            The presence of God is within us.  All of us.  The presence of God dwelling in the groom and dwelling in the bride is what drew them together.  That same presence of God draws guests to their wedding, and it gives the groom and the bride the courage to make this lifelong commitment to each other.  That presence of God within the bride and the within the groom and living in all of us is what holds them together. 

            That divine power that lives within the bride and lives within the groom and lives within all of us, is what St. Paul described in the letter to the Corinthians, the second reading we so often hear at weddings.  The word we use to name that power of God within us is Love.  Love is the presence of God, dwelling in us, calling us to love one another as God loves us.  It’s Love that joins the married couple together.   The bride and the groom put their trust in the power of God, who lives in each of them and lives in all of us, to keep them together, because what God puts together, no human can take apart.

            The gospel of Mark is part of the marriage ritual: “Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”  God is doing something at a wedding that no one else can undo.  What the bride and groom want, and what we all want, is for them to be joined to each other forever, and we know is that human beings can’t do that on their own.  What human beings put together can always be taken apart.  In marriage, it’s God who is joining these two together, and that’s why it’s going to last. 

            The way God accomplishes that outcome is to make the people do the work of becoming one flesh, and always with God’s help.  The bride and groom are “no longer two but one flesh,” because they trust in each other enough to give all of themselves to the other, and because they are equals, joining together to form one.  We want them to live out what we hear in the Scriptures, and we want it to be as joyful as sand castles, but to last forever.

         Because God is the One who put them together.  


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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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