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.

You Can Act Like a Man!

I firmly believe that if men would focus on becoming who it was God created them to be, then we wouldn’t be in half the mess that we are.

Remember when the snake came into the Garden of Eden and Adam rose up, picked up a stone, and bashed the snaked to death? Neither do I, because that’s not what happened.

Adam was given the task to ‘abad and shamar, to till and keep the land. He was not vigilant and the snake was able to slither in and disrupt paradise.

The big 7. These will be the topics for the next few posts. In the meantime, ask yourself this question, how can I be a better man?

Until next time, Buen Camino.

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.

A Time For Healing. A Time For Action.

Yesterday my fellow brother candidates and I were installed in the Ministry of the Lectorate. It was another great day and another accomplishment on our journey towards the Holy Order of Deacon.

As we sat and listened to a Bishop Cantú’s homily, he reminded us that we are to go out and “profess the word of God” and how we need to do so, not only by words but through our actions. Our lives should reflect the word of God in everything we say and do, in every aspect of our lives, at home, at work and in our communities. This isn’t just a good reminder for us deacon candidates but for everyone especially during this dark time of the Church.

This is a time where we need to step up and lead the Church back into the light, to encourage others not to despair and to be that light of Christ for others to see the path that leads back to Jesus Christ and His Church. This is not a time to sit back and ignore what happened, nor is it a time to remain in despair because of the horrific actions that happened at the hands of a few. I am not diminishing the events that took place. Even if it was one person who committed these acts, that is one too many. It is time to start the healing process.

Let us pray for those who were victimized, that God will heal them. Let us pray for those who committed these atrocities, that they will ask for forgiveness and atone for their sins. And finally, let us pray for our Church, that during these dark times people will turn to Jesus and his Church instead of turning away because of what the world says. The voice of a God speaks louder than the voice of man.

What Does It Take To Be A Man?

2 emasculation

If you haven’t noticed by now then you must be hiding under a rock or are turning a blind eye to the situation at hand….the emasculation of men. Everyone has their own opinion as to how and when it started but quite frankly, that doesn’t matter. What does matter is how to put an end to this nonsense and have men start being men again. I know what some of you are thinking, “Ok, John is about to go on a rant about feminism and how women have taken over, etc… and you couldn’t be further from the truth. This post is aimed at the core of the problem…men!

2 adam

Seriously men, think about it. We’ve allowed this to happen to us. Now part of it is our fault and part of it is that we were set up for failure right from the start. Case in point: Remember when the serpent came into the Garden of Eden and tempted Eve with the apple and out of nowhere Adam came in with this huge boulder and smashed the serpent, killing it dead right on the spot? Yeah, I don’t remember it that way either. Truth is that Adam stood by and watched the whole thing happen without saying or doing anything to the serpent. It is what I refer to as the “Adam moment.”

2 relationship God

How many “Adam moments” have you had in your life? If you are like me, I bet you’ve had a few. But don’t fret, there is a solution. What is that solution you ask? Well it goes back to the first question that I posed in the title. What does it take to be a man? It takes God. We are nothing without God! Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” That was the call from God to Jeremiah but it is also a call from God to us. There are so many messages from God to us if we just take the time to read his love letter to us, the Holy Bible. There are other ways that God calls out to us but we have to be quiet and alert but most importantly, we need to have a relationship with God. A relationship is only as strong as the time, effort and commitment that is put into it. Men need to build a relationship with God.

2 think

I’m going to leave you with a few things to think and pray about.

2 scourged

Check your ego and attitude at the door – I don’t care how big and bad you might think you are, you are no Jesus. Jesus Christ, the epitome of masculinity, the main role model a man should strive to be. John 19:1 “Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.” I don’t care how many battles you have been through in life, you will never be as tough as Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:31 “whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” This verse right here men is the attitude that we should carry with us every day! Allow that verse to permeate into your soul and then go out and live it!

2 godly man

Be a man – Before King David died, the first instruction to his son was: 1 Kings 2:2 “Be strong and be a man!” As I said before, I’m sure many of us have had a few “Adam moments” in our lives and this is how we can avoid them, by being strong and being a man. A Godly man will stand up for and defend what is right in the eyes of God. Here are a few examples. When you are “out with the guys” and they start talking about their past conquests with women, be strong and be a man, walk away or better yet, let them know that what they are doing is degrading to women and detrimental to their own souls. When a male friend texts you a picture of a nude woman, be strong and be a man. Delete that text right away and let that man know that you do not approve of his actions and if you want to send more of a message, attach a photo of Our Blessed Mother with a copy of the Act of Contrition for them to say.

2 confession

Go to confession – The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year” (CCC 1457) If you think that you can get away with going to confession once a year, you are sadly mistaken. That is like playing Russian roulette with 5 bullets in the chamber. James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to one another.” Without getting into the Theology of this verse (That is for another day), the apostles (by todays accounts) were the ordained of their time and could therefore confess their sins to each other. In other words, get to your local Church and confess your sins to the priest who is In Persona Cristi at that moment. Humble yourself before the Lord. Do not be afraid to go, the priest is there to help and guide you. If it has been a long time since you’ve been to confession, then make an appointment to see your priest and he will take the time that you need and help you get through it to make a good confession.

2 pizza #1 dad

Build each other up – Look at the world today and how it views men. All you have to do is look at commercials on TV. We are told that we are too old, too fat, impotent, lazy and that we can’t even order a pizza.

2 encouragement

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up.” There is no room in this world for knocking each other down. We should be praying for each other and encouraging each other as the verse says. You don’t kick a man when he is down! Lift him up, even if he is your enemy, lift him up, dust him off and allow him to see Jesus through you. Remember, Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

2 jealousy

Push aside jealousy and envy – I don’t know when this all came about but all of a sudden it seems like men are more concerned about what they don’t have instead of being thankful for what they do have and if you have more than them, they have no problem letting you know by making snide remarks. Exodus 20:16-17 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” When you are focused on what others have you are not giving thanks for what God has provided you with. Instead of making insulting jealous or envious remarks, give that person praise instead. A simple “God has truly blessed you my friend. You deserve it” goes a lot farther than “Oh a new car! Must be nice to have a new car all the time!”

2 complain.png

Lastly, Stop complaining and give thanksPhilippians 2:14 “Do everything without grumbling or questioning.” Everybody is guilty of this one to one extent or another. It’s hard not to complain, look at the state of the world right? Yes, the state of the world can be bleak at times, sometimes more often than not but, we need to hold ourselves up as men and be that leader that our families are looking for. If our children hear us complain, guaranteed they will do the same. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” As much as there is bad in the world, there is equally if not more good in the world, we just need to take our blinders off so that we can see it. All good comes from God right? Then go out there, search out the good in the world and tell everyone about it.

buen camino

These are just a few things to get you started on the path to becoming the man that God has created you to be. I’m sure that if you sit down and think about it, you can probably come up with a few others as well. May God continue to bless you in your journey. Buen Camino.