You Can Act Like A Man – Lust Part 1

Wikipedia definition of lust – Lust is a psychological force producing intense desire for an object, or circumstance while already having a significant amount of the desired object. Lust can take any form such as the lust for sexuality, money, or power.

A sin is a sin is a sin. However, the biggest sin amongst men, young and old, is the sin of the flesh. It’s in our DNA, to admire the beauty of women. But there is a point when admiration turns into lustful desire and that’s when sin takes place.

Some guys are like, “I didn’t even touch her.” you didn’t have to, it was your thoughts that got you to sin.

Even in the beginning, when God created the world, he felt pity for Adam and from one of his ribs, he created Eve. Remember how excited Adam got? Finally, Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh! I will call her woman!

And it seemed like everything was perfect, and it was…until Adam let the serpent in.

You see, the devil is clever. He doesn’t come into the story looking like the boogie man. He comes in like one of the animals but with an agenda. How does he look like when he enters into your world?

We’ll talk more about that on Part 2. Until then, Buen Camino.

You Can Act Like a Man – Wrath

One of the most dangerous sins for men is the sin of wrath. It has fueled war, hatred, and violence towards their fellow man. Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines wrath as 1: strong vengeful anger or indignation. 2: retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement

The wrath that men most commonly experience is the one described in the first definition; strong vengeful anger or indignation. How many times have you ever said “I really hate that….?” I’m not just talking about words, but a real deep hatred that boils up within you towards another person.

This type of anger can lead to domestic violence. Recovery from domestic violence takes a long time to heal; both for the victim and the offender, if the offender has sought help. This can take years to recover from, sometimes decades. Most of the time domestic violence is a learned behavior, more than likely stemming from a mans childhood.

If you are a man who’s abusing his significant other, Stop! There is help. If you are a man and are the victim of abuse, Stop! There is help. use the information above.

Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Talking from experience, letting go of anger and hatred towards individuals will bring you a peace within that you’ve never known. I used to harbor it, hold onto it like an obsession. It did nothing for me except create damage to my soul and create a heaviness that was at times unbearable. Now, I do my best to let it go and give it to God. I remind myself that I’m not God, so why am I allowing this individual, this circumstance to get the better of me? God will handle it, if we allow him.

The Devil knows our weaknesses, and he uses them against us. Be strong, resist, fight back. Prayer is a powerful weapon against anger. When you find yourself getting angry, say one decade of the rosary, especially before you go to sleep. Do not let the sun set while you are still angry.

Next Friday I will talk about the most deadliest sin to men today (in my opinion), the sin of lust. Until then, Buen Camino.

You Can Act Like A Man – Greed

Today we are going to talk about the din of greed.

When you hear the word “greed”, you probably think of money, or someone who’s rich, but it is much more than that. Greed – is an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.

Remember Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? She wanted everything, and she wanted it right away! Does it remind you of anybody you know, possibly yourself at times?

We live in an age of instant gratification. “I want it, and I want it now” or “I deserve it.” I know that I’ve been that person in my life, more times than I’d like to admit. As a matter of fact, I think it is my generations fault, Generation X, that we live in the era of instant gratification. Many of us didn’t have the discipline or skills to just say NO! Others had the notion of not raising their children in the manner that they were ere brought up; they’d be kinder, gentler, more understanding. And in time, we’ve raised a generation of slothful greedy brats.

Change isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s necessary, and other times it’s forced upon us. Either way, you become a stronger person after it’s done.

Through the grace of God, you can change your greedy behavior. Hebrews 13:16 – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

I’m not insisting that we become a Socialist Government. If we have, and if we can, we should give to those in need. But they in turn should do their part as well, for the Bible also says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat.

It’s all about balance. Give to much, you become an enabler; give to little and you become a miser.

I pray that this has helped you to think about the sin of greed in a different light than before. Next Friday I’ll talk about the sin of wrath.

Until next time, Buen Camino.

You Can Act Like a Man – Sloth

When people think of the sin of sloth, they tend to think about laziness, idleness, or indolence. They are partly right because sloth is much more than that.

The Latin term for sloth is acedia which means “without care.” Spirituality it’s referred to people who’ve become indifferent to their obligations to God. Mentally, acedia has many facets; affectlessness, a lack of any feeling about a person’s self or others, a state of mind that welcomes boredom, apathy, and sluggish mentation.

In his Summa Theologica, Saint Thomas Aquinasdefined sloth as “sorrow about spiritual good” and as “facetiousness of the mind which neglects to begin good… [it] is evil in its effect, if it so oppresses men as to draw him away entirely from good deeds.”

In a nutshell, sloth is the sin of omission; failure to do the things that one should do, turning a blind eye to what is right. Sins of omission can be the worst because it is not what you do, but what you failed to do.

One of the best ways to combat sloth is to pray the rosary; focusing on each mystery of Jesus’ life. Contemplating on how Jesus lived his life, how he’s given us the example of what a prayerful man is. With that being said, let’s practice right now by saying the Lords Prayer slowly.

Our Father (pause)………..who art in heaven…………..hallowed be thy name…………………..thy kingdom come………….thy will be done……………….on earth……………as it is in heaven……………….Give us this day………………….Our daily bread………….and forgive us our tresspasses………as we forgive those………….who trespass against us……………..and lead us not………..into temptation…………..but deliver us………from evil……..Amen.

The “You Can Act Like a Man” series continues next Friday where the topic will be greed. Until then, Buen Camino.

You can act like a man – Pride

To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man. – Ric Flair

In order to change yourself, you have to acknowledge your brokenness and identify those areas.

Our first topic in the “You can act like a man” series is Pride.

Pride is sometimes viewed as corrupt or as a vice, sometimes as proper or as a virtue. … When viewed as a virtue, pride in one’s abilities is known as virtuous pride, the greatness of soul or magnanimity, but when viewed as a vice it is often known to be self-idolatry, sadistic contempt, vanity or vainglory.

When I came back to the Catholic Church in late 2012, the thing that held me back from going back sooner was fear. I was afraid to give my life to God. I was afraid that I would change and become less of a man, but I knew deep in my heart, that I had to make the move.

As I sat there in front of the tabernacle that day, I was having a long overdue conversation with Jesus Christ. I wanted to know why I wasn’t happy, content, and at peace with myself or the current state of my life. I was still fairly young, 46 years old, successful, had a good marriage, but yet, I knew something was missing. I knew the answer without Him saying a word to me. He, Jesus Christ, was the answer.

I asked Jesus to come into my life, to send the Holy Spirit down upon me. Suddenly, I started to cry. I could feel an intense love like I’ve never felt before. My inner cup was overflowing with His grace, and I knew, this was it, this was Him. I remember saying “if you come into my life, I will no longer live it for myself, but for you.”

For once, I humbled myself before the Lord. I’ve never been a humble person, and I still continue to work at it, but that day, I found something, someone, greater than myself, and I let go of my pride, and allowed Jesus Christ into my life.

The opposite of pride is humility, humbleness. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that approximately 80% of men today, know nothing or very little about humility. Take a look at the state of the world these days.

I’m a firm believer that all of the world’s problems are the result of men not knowing their role or doing what God created them for, but I’ll save that for later on the topic of sloth.

Humility and humbleness allow a man to realize that there is something bigger than him or his ego, and that there are others who need help, guidance, assistance, and love that he can offer when he’s not focused on himself. You may have heard the saying. “It takes a real man to recognize his mistakes.” I say that it takes a “humble” man to be able to identify, acknowledge, and work towards fixing those mistakes.

Look upon the cross and you will see authentic masculinity, authentic humility, from Our Lord Jesus Christ, who humbled himself to death, death on a cross, for all of us, and all of our sins. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

God, I am far too often influenced by what others think of me. I am always pretending to be either richer or smarter or nicer than I really am. Please prevent me from trying to attract attention. Don’t let me gloat over praise on one hand or be discouraged by criticism on the other. Nor let me waste time weaving imaginary situations in which the most heroic, charming, witty person present is myself. Show me how to be humble of heart, like you.

The Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

– Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val

Until next Friday, Buen Camino.

Finding God…again.

I’m on a new journey in search of God. Now I know that God is everywhere and, he is within us. However, over the past two years, I’ve allowed the secular world to cloud my vision. So what happened?

First was leaving Deacon Formation in early 2019. It was something that needed to happen but, it was still a hard pill to swallow. The hardest part for me back then, and still is today, is how can God allow evil into his Church? In the Catholic Church we have less than desirable clergy members who appear to be more concerned about their own agendas than with the Gospel. I know (now) that there’s nothing that I can do to change that or them, but I still wonder why God allows it. So why is there so much conflict within me?

2020 brought in depression and anger. Not just for me, but for many people that I know. It was the year of the COVID 19 pandemic that was hyper politicized and continued to divide Americans. I turned to music to escape but in doing so, I placed God on the shelf. It was another question; how could God allow people to be so evil with each other? I know that it’s free will but I know there is more to it. I love music. I love playing live or on Facebook. But I love God too, not like before but, I am trying to find my way back to God.

The longer I’m away from God, the easier it is to fall into sin. Sin is not a good place to be; it’s like wallowing around in your own feces, surrounded by demons.

One Month Down

Hello everyone. Welcome to 2021! For good or bad, it is what it is and here we are. 

How many of you are into doing “New Years Resolutions”? I don’t do them anymore. As I get older my focus turns towards becoming a better Catholic man, and a better person overall. Not that I’m opposed to resolutions. They can be a great motivation to get a person from point A to point B. 

list of resolutions on blackboard with three blank, numbered sticky notes

So January 2021 comes to an end tonight and I’m wondering how some of you are feeling so far. Are you upset or happy with the election results? What are your views on COVID-19 now a year into it? Have you taken the vaccine? Will you take it? How is your home and work life going? How are you doing physically, mentally, and spiritually? These are just a few of the questions that I think about.

I’m not happy with the election results however, they are what they are and I’m moving forward with my life; I refuse to let my emotions dictate my life and reaching the goals that I’ve set for myself and my family. As a citizen, I will do my part to constructively voice my concerns with the new administration as they arise.

By now I’m sure that most of you have been impacted personally on some level due to COVID-19. You may have lost your job, your business, had to accept a reduction in hours or pay. You may have contracted the virus, or knew someone who did. You may have lost a family member or friend due to the virus. All of these have happened to me over the last year. I was once a prideful, obnoxious, boisterous fool who refused to wear his mask and voiced that “there is no way in hell that I’m taking a vaccine”! One year later and I’ll be getting my booster vaccine this week, and I wear my mask regularly now. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I was wrong with my views. I’m thinking about others now instead of myself when it comes to the virus. I’m not saying that I’m better than anyone who doesn’t wear a mask or who refuses to get the vaccine. These are my views, not theirs or yours. We each have our decisions to make when it comes to how we address the virus in our personal lives.

Physically I’m not doing well. I have diabetes now and have zero willpower when it comes to sweets. I need to find that drive to get off my ass and take this seriously. 

Last year was not a bad year for me mentally overall so I’d say I’m doing great so far this year as I’m still very optimistic about my future. I’m no longer worrying about things that are out of my control. I can barely control my life at times so I don’t have time for other issues outside of my life. 

Spiritually I’m doing fair to partly cloudy. I can always improve in this area. The hardest part for me is the state of the Church as a whole. Everyone are on different pages when it comes to the faith yet. “Catholic” is supposed to be universal as its meaning goes. This is all outside of my control of course so I’ll focus on the spiritual side of Catholicism and not the human side.

I’m almost three months into my new job and I love it. Life is good overall and God is great! So at this point in 2021, I’m hopeful, a bit anxious, and feeling blessed about the rest of the year. How about you?

Until next time, Buen Camino, and God bless.

Religious Freedom & Knights on Bikes

With the presidential elections right around the corner, now more than ever, it is important to make your voice heard. With our national and local candidates running on so many platforms, there is one that Americans are forgetting to find out where each candidate stands on in regards to our freedom of religion.

If you think that our religious freedoms can’t be taken away from us here in the U.S., think again. Look at what happened to The Little Sisters of the Poor, the baker who didn’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding, and the photographer who didn’t want to take pictures for a gay weddings. Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars were spent in these court battles. These example may not affect you directly, but if we continue to allow our government and others to chip away at our religious freedoms, soon there won’t be any left.

There are a group of men who through their actions, decided to bring attention to this issue. A few weeks ago the Knights on Bikes held a “Freedom Ride” to bring attention to our rights of religious freedom. I’ve had the privilege of working with some of these men, and the young lady who filmed the video below, on previous projects that have aired on EWTN and have been seen by millions around the world.

Recently I learned about “shadow banning” – Shadow banning, also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting, is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community, so that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned. For instance, shadow banned comments posted to a blog or media website will not be visible to other persons accessing that site from their computers.

By partly concealing, or making a user’s contributions invisible or less prominent to other members of the service, the hope may be that in the absence of reactions to their comments, the problematic or otherwise out-of-favour user will become bored or frustrated and leave the site. (Taken from Wikipedia)

I believe this is something that is happening with my FB account, and many other conservative social media users that I know. That is why I have shared this on my personal blog page.

My goal is to share this video with as many people that I can and to ask you all to do the same. I also ask you to please hit the thumbs up button. In the words of the Mexican people, the Cristeros who fought for their freedom of religion during the Cristero War (1926 – 1929), may our battle cry be the same as theirs, Viva Cristo Rey! Long Live Christ the King!

Knights on Bikes: Protest for Freedom

To learn more about Knights on Bikes, contact Bob “Ace” Bagley.

Four Things I Learned From Last Week

If last week were a test for our country from God, then we utterly failed as a nation. Here are 4 things that I learned about our country based off the actions of the past week.

divided

Division

We are still more divided in this country than we think we are and it’s not all about race. Yes there is still racism in our country but it’s not as bad as what mainstream media wants you to believe it is. Right before the murder of George Floyd, Americans were divided about wearing a mask due to the Coronavirus. People with mask were being disrespectful to those without and vice versa. When people are arguing about something as petty as wearing a mask and being driven towards division over it, there is a problem.

With the murder of George Floyd, it has fueled that “us against them” mentality among many individuals, which leads to my next topic, hate.

 

 

hate2

Hate

We all know the opposite of hate is love. Love builds, love cares, and love strives for the betterment of mankind. God is love. Hate destroys, period! Hate is Satan. Satan has been roaming the world destroying everything in his path. As the bible says, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. The devil has set his sight on the ruin of families, creating division along the way and instilling hate in individuals that they just can’t shake on their own.

Hate driven rioters have taken to the streets of America burning and looting along the way. Fueled by a false sense of fear within them, they listen to what is being fed to them on TV and this fuels the hate towards “X” whatever X may be. “I hate him because X!”  Hate is a feeling; Love is an Action.

Resist him (the devil), be firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:9

 

 

MSM

Mainstream Media Still Rules

No matter how many people like myself try to educate others to think for themselves instead of being told how, what, and when to think by Mainstream Media, the proof is still there that Mainstream Media continues to dictate the path of far too many Americans. I still would like to encourage these individuals to shut off their televisions or whatever news sources they are using and take a step back, clear the emotions from your head so that you will have an unobscured vision of the truth, then look at what is really going on in America. You will be able to see who the people are that are pulling the strings of society and then you will be able to make better choices in how you receive your news and you will sever the ties that bind you to Mainstream Media.

 

 

human dignity

Lack of Dignity of Life

Just like everyone else that saw the video of the detainment of George Floyd, I was sickened to see him slowly being murdered by a law enforcement officer, someone who is supposed to be there to protect and serve their community. I was angry, but I wasn’t shocked. I’ll explain that later. It is what I do with that anger that will determine what type of person I am. Will I be self-serving and use it like the looters and rioters or will I use it for positive change in a negative situation. I’ve chosen to write this today and share my thoughts. Maybe it will make somebody think along the way and change their outlook on mankind, maybe?

WT2

Every year approximately one million unborn children are murdered in America. There are very few protests, there is no rioting or looting done because of their deaths. They are the voiceless individuals that far too many people forget about or speak up for. So if we don’t have respect for the dignity of the unborn, we shouldn’t be shocked at the actions of that officer who murdered George Floyd. That is why I mentioned earlier that I was angry, but not shocked.

In my opinion and based on observations in my life, there are far too many people who don’t care about the dignity of life. Be it humans or animals, these people have the mentality that “some” of these; humans, animals, are expendable or are not needed. As a society, if we don’t care for the lesser of these, what makes you think that we will care for the greater of them? We need hearts to be changed. We need to respect the dignity of life.

 

WhatDoNowAbstr

So what now?

All these things that I mentioned can be fixed but it takes a change of heart and, in my opinion, it takes God to be in the center of your lives.

I am Roman Catholic and I stand firm in my faith. My job is not to convince you to become a Roman Catholic. My job is not to convince you that God does exist. My job is to be the best version of who God created me to be and to share his message with others, to share my experiences about him with others and this is what I try to do on a daily basis, this is what I try to do with my blog.

Do I always have God at the center of my life? No. Sometimes he gets pushed to the side but he never gets pushed out of my life. I’m a sinner, and I know my sins, but it doesn’t make me quit, it makes me strive harder to be that better person that God created me to be.

I’ve shared this once and I’ll share it again now. Jesus gave us one commandment and that was to “love others as I have loved you.” John 15:12

Be that version that God created you to be. Love one another as he has loved us. Be that better person.

Until next time, Buen Camino and God bless.

Food for Thought


foodforthought

This is from a post that I shared with my friends on Facebook this morning.

Good Morning Everyone.

Food for thought. Is there more to the COVID-19 virus than we know? Our economy is the worst that it’s been in a long time. Americans are being told what to do and when to do it and, they are being compliant or at least most are. Small businesses are going out of business yet they are told that there are “funds” to help them when there really aren’t. My bride and I own a small business of just her and me and although we have been able to remain open as an “essential” business, we may not survive the economic impact at the end. We’ve seen so many local small businesses opening up “Go Fund Me” pages just to help them survive! The supposed small business relief goes to businesses that have 500 or fewer. If that is the case, we need to re-evaluate how they measure “small businesses” and maybe come up with a better classification of businesses like ours and many around here; maybe call us “micro-businesses” because most of us have less than 30 employees.

Depression, frustration, anger, and anxiety are taking their tolls on most Americans out there but who is taking care of them? I hope that this has taught us to go back to grassroots and start looking out for each other cause the government isn’t going to do it. They might send you a “Stimulus Check” here and there to keep you happy but that’s it.

I’m not a conspiracy theorists nor am I a “the sky is falling” type of person. I am an observer of my surroundings and so far what I’ve seen is a lot of governmental control with its aim of heading the country in another direction that will give us fewer and fewer rights. I hope that I’m wrong but these are things that I’ve noticed.

I’m not saying that the virus is fake because I know that it’s not. Right now in the United States we stand at 41K deaths attributed to COVID-19. Last year we had approximately 60K deaths (CDC numbers) attributed to influenza. Does this mean that this will be the new norm every flu season, shut down the world and keep everyone apart from each other? Does it mean more government control?

The only thing that has helped to keep me going through all this is my faith. If there is one thing that I know for sure it is that God is bigger than all of this. Some people are calling this a chastisement from God. I’m not saying that it is or isn’t but I know for certain that God is trying to get our attention, but most people are not listening.

As Christians, we just celebrated the resurrection of the Lord with the passing of Easter Sunday, yet a day later, everyone goes back to being themselves, forgetting about others, acting like uncivilized heathens on social media and such. As a Catholic, we just finished celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday yesterday yet how many of us show that mercy to others? When was the last time that you prayed for that person who hurt you, your enemy? That is mercy. Jesus Christ gave us one just one commandment and that was to love each other as he has loved us! Who knows, maybe this is a chastisement for a world whose become so selfish, greedy and thoughtless about and towards each other.

I was thinking about all the different politicians that have been voted into their positions over the years and if you stop and really look at them, take away their party designation and look at what they do or what they’ve done and you will see a person whose biggest interest is their own, not yours, not ours. It reminds me of a story from scripture where Israel demands a new King (1 Samuel 8) and the words that God told Samuel; “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds which they have done to me, from the day I brought them out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods.”

If what’s going on around the world doesn’t scare you, then the words of God should. We’ve voted these people in because we thought they were the best candidate, because they are the “lesser of two evils”, or because they are a local homeboy who cares about our city, but do they? Look at their actions and then ask yourself, do they really care, do they really see the big picture? And in regards to the “lesser of two evils”, who said that you should vote for evil anyhow if that’s how you feel?

Now more than ever, we need God in our lives. He’s always been there. It is not he who turned from us but we who turned from him. Even Jesus pleaded with God the Father on his last day; “forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If this isn’t a chastisement, brace yourselves then, because if we continue to be the people we were before this virus, and we go back to being “those people”, then it is only a matter of time before God truly shows his hand. Repent.