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Vision: To Foster Catholic Men's Spirituality in Chicago Southland
By Frank J Casella
Photo: 'In Daddy's Arms' - A child is at peace enveloped in the security of a fathers embrace. Likewise, as children of God, we are embraced by His love and secure peace. All we have to do is accept! Click here to get your copy.  Copyright 2012 Frank J Casella.
In our present culture, there are a lot of unresolved issues. This is because people in our culture are constantly trying to help each other, but this often doesn't work out the way people intended. And this can be because people often have different expectations of each other, which can create tension.
When two or more individuals are involved, differing expectations will arise when frank and honest communications is lacking. This can create tension and conflict, as each person has different ideas of what is acceptable behavior. In some cases, this can lead to resentment and bitterness.
Expectations in the Catholic male world should mirror those of God. Because our identity and our faith depends on His will, and when we act in accordance with His plan, others take notice. This is especially important when it comes to dealing with family and friends, as so many now seem to expect us to agree with them or face judgement or rejection.
What issues are Catholic men discussing with one another? Some of the common issues are that their children are not following the faith and morals as they were raised, demands from their jobs go beyond providing a service to the customer, their culture can isolate them, and their marriages can be dysfunctional due to unmet needs or unresolved anger. 
It is said that your family can be your worst critic, and that your true friends can be more like family than your own family. What has worked for me in this regard is to not seek apology as much as provide forgiveness.
What goes into our minds ultimately comes out of our mouths. This is known as "Garbage In, Garbage Out." Christ or the world?  What we put into our minds can have a significant impact on how we act and when we're speaking, and it's important to be mindful of what we're saying in order to create the best possible impression and dialog with others. 

This has become so obvious to me how too many of us have our own expectations, that it brought me to look up the word  'expectation' in the Catholic Catechism and found this gem: 


2657 The Holy Spirit, who instructs us to celebrate the liturgy in expectation of Christ's return, teaches us-to pray in hope. Conversely, the prayer of the Church and personal prayer nourish hope in us. The psalms especially, with their concrete and varied language, teach us to fix our hope in God: "I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry." 8 As St. Paul prayed: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."


I find it interesting how the Catholic Catechism shares that we should pray in hope. Hope is something that is important to me, as it fills me with joy and peace when I have it. I also find it interesting that St. Paul said that we should pray that the God of hope fills us with all joy and peace. This is a great reminder to me to (strive to) have hope in the goodness of God.


I believe that prayer and expectation go hand-in-hand. When we put our hope in God, we are given the strength over time to overcome any obstacle that comes our way. Prayer and the Holy Spirit is the bridge that connects us to God and helps us to have a positive outlook on life. When we pray, we are asking for guidance with our expectations and for help in our current situation, that we don't have all the answers.


I once had a Catholic man tell me that he has stopped going to Mass because he feels that the pews are filled with people who depend on God, and without Him they are lost. To me, this is exactly why people should go to Mass!


Looking at others through the lens of Christ helps us to see them as they are intended to be seen - as children of God. In doing so, we are able to forgive and move on from our past experiences and expectations. By doing this, we can focus on what is truly important - namely, living for God and helping others do the same. 


Although it can be hard, it is important to focus more on what God expects of us, rather than [the expectations of] others or ourselves. This is how I think we can be able to meet expectations in life, and ultimately be happy. By looking at others through the eyes of Christ, we can see their struggles and see the best in them. This helps us to be forgiving and merciful, and to help others when they need it. 



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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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