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.

I Believe

I believe that most people are good

I believe that most people are kind

I believe that most people care

I believe that mainstream media has an agenda

I believe that mainstream media works towards keeping us divided

I believe that mainstream media wants to keep everyone scared

I believe that social media molds individuals into puppets

I believe that social media also strives for division

I believe that social media is not so social anymore

I believe in God and look to him for strength

I believe that most people believe in a higher power

I believe that most people live by the “golden rule.”

I believe that people will wake up one day and realize that we need to become more dependent on each other, instead of depending on politicians who care about power and money instead of the people they serve.

I believe that we can come together and mend the brokenness of this country, only if we don’t listen to the haters, dividers, and non-believers.

I believe that we can make the United States of America great again, but not through any political party or any politicians, but through our own hard work, determination, and God’s grace.

God help us.

Until next time, Buen Camino.

Thankful

Every year around this time, people start to look inward and share what they are thankful for. Some do it in person and many do it through social media. It’s that time where the year is coming to an end and we look back on all the things that have taken place in the world, our country, and our lives.

This year has been a rough one to say the least. The majority of our country has been shut down since Early 2020 due to COVID-19 and that has impacted millions of Americans in one way or another. People have lost jobs, businesses, hope, and there are those who’ve died from the virus or underlying conditions with the virus added to them.

Add to that a presidential election that brought out the ugliness in many people on both sides of the aisle. Friendships ended and family feuds started or escalated all because people have forgotten how to disagree and move on.

What are your thoughts at this point of this year? Are you hopeful? Are you scared?

I think that 2020 gave us an opportunity to take a step back and be thankful for the smallest things in life, like waking up this morning. Sadly, many people have missed that message because they were too caught up in the election, or being told what to think from mainstream or social media.

Since the start of this virus, I’ve managed to keep a positive attitude, even in the face of losing our business, I remained optimistic. Months later with a new job and new challenges, I still remain optimistic. Why? For me, it’s keeping my eyes on Christ. I can’t do it all alone but as Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

What or who is it that strengthens you? Is it working? Are you content with the way your life is going?

This year, like every other year, I’m thankful for my beautiful bride, my wonderful children, family and friends. I’m also thankful for my new job and new opportunities but most of all, I’m thankful for having Jesus Christ at the center of my life because without him, none of this is possible.

May you be blessed, safe, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Come Together

Good vs Evil

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

The time has come, to set differences aside and come together as Christians for the betterment of our nation. No petty bickering of “He’s a Catholic and they….” Or “Well they are Mormons and they…..” There is a war going on in our country, a spiritual war of pure unadulterated evil, and we are called to fight!

If you profess Christ as your savior and you do your best to live out a life like his daily then you are a Christian! There are more “Christian by name” people in the United States than there are Christians. It isn’t only our job to make sure that we get to heaven but we have to try to lead our family and others to Christ as well. The more Christian brothers and sisters that we have in this war, the more we will succeed in setting things straight again.

Off Balance: Mom & kids on one side, the Father on the other.

Our country is off balance and we need to start fixing it. In my opinion, one of the reasons that it is off balance is due to the fact that the “nuclear family” model is no longer applicable in today’s society. As a matter of fact, if you go to the Black Lives Matter website and look under “What we believe”, you will read the following: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” Did you notice that not only do they admit to disrupting the nuclear family structure but, they fail to mention “fathers” in their statement!

BLM, ANTIFA, NFAC, KKK, etc, these are all racist, hateful, and evil organizations that have set themselves apart, by choice, from the rest of society. They want their own version of what the United States should look like. Are we going to just stand there and allow this to happen? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke.

So here is my challenge to all of you who profess to be Christians. Gather a group of Christians together at your Local Park or square, and come together for a day of prayer for our country. Go from church to church advertising what day you will do this and then, do it! There are power in numbers and we have God on our side. Whom should we fear?

Go out there brothers and sisters and educate your fellow Christians especially now before the elections take place. Do they want to continue to live in a country where unborn babies are killed by the hundreds of thousands, where rioting and looting is allowed, where anarchy is looked to as normal, and where law enforcement is being defunded due to pressures from racist organizations? This is not the nation that I want to live in and I’m sure many of you don’t want to either. If the Democratic Party wins, this is what we have to look forward to and possibly a new civil war.

Pray that God the Father gives you the will to fight. Pray that Jesus Christ the Son gives you the strength to fight. And pray that the Holy Spirit will give you the knowledge to encourage others to fight.

Until next time, Buen Camino and God bless.

30 Day Retreat

Picture yourself driving down a highway during the summer and it is early morning, the sun is beginning to rise. As you are driving you hear or see the splat of a bug hitting your windshield. If you’re quick enough you rinse the remains of the bug off. After driving for an hour you pull off into a rest area. You notice that your windshield is a mess. Bugs and remnants of them have left their mark on your windshield. You get back in your vehicle and start to drive away noticing the mess on the windshield. You can still see the road but it’s not as clear. You get to a crossroad and make a turn, the wrong turn because you could not see clearly.

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Sometimes we allow things to get in the way of our journey with Christ. People, material objects, vices, places, situations, they all can create a blurred vision of the path that leads us home to him. That is when we need to stop, clear our vision, and get back on track.

 

I am at one of those times in my life where I need to clear my vision. I need to get away from the world as best as I can, and clean my inner windshield. A friend and Catholic brother of mine introduced me to a program, “Freedom Through Christ” created by a Catholic Deliverance Ministry.

I saw the changes that he went through and although I know that I may not experience those same changes, I know that changes need to be taken in order for me to continue my journey with Christ. This is my time to reconnect with God in a deeper more intimate way than what I’ve ever done before.

Tomorrow July 16, 2020, I begin my retreat. I will be off the grid per se for at least 30 days, maybe more, I have no idea how this will go or where God will lead me during this time.

I’d like to ask you all to pray for me during this time. Pray that God will deliver me from whatever it is that is holding me back. Pray that his will be done in my life. I will pray for all of you and your intentions during this time and when I return, I pray that I am a better man than who I am today.

Thank you, God bless you, Buen Camino, and I’ll see you all later.