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.

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!

53

As I sit here in my recliner, front door open, cool evening air blowing inside, 11:30 PM, my mind went back to Ft. Stockton, TX 1979, cool summer evening just like tonight but back then, you could sleep with your front door open. Man have times changed.

I miss the simpler times in life. I didn’t have the best life growing up but I did have some good memories here and there. It’s those memories, those times and places that I miss during times like these.

And here I am now, just turned 53 this month, living a life that I would’ve never imagined, in what some people are calling a “COVID world.” Well, I don’t want to live in a “COVID world.” What does that mean? I don’t know. What I do know is that for some, this virus has made them look at themselves and they are trying to become better humans. And then there are others, who just like demons, look for any opportunity to make others lives miserable. I try to be that first type of person but there are times that I fail.

I’ve kept this picture up as my Facebook cover as a reminder to just live. Some days I’m like Keith Richards and other days I’m like the other guys but the one thing that I strive for daily is to do what they are doing in the picture, smiling and laughing. Even with the masks on, you can see the smiles, the laughter, and the happiness on their faces.

Will our world ever get back to normal? I don’t know. For now, I will live my life the best way I know how, and I will laugh and smile along the way. Until next time, buen camino & God bless.

Evangelize From Anywhere

Some people have a problem with Disney and anything associated with them. To each their own. I’m not a huge fan but my family is and I enjoy seeing them happy considering how I failed to do so in the early years of being a husband and father and I didn’t make them happy then but that’s another story for another time.

People have their reasons for their dislike of Disney and some use their religion to push their agenda on others; “They support same sex marriage,” or “They support Planned Parenthood.” If those are your main reasons for not supporting a company, better do your homework Jack! There are many companies who do the same thing and unless you are living off the grid, you should re-evaluate your argument or learn what it means to be a Christian.

Christians should be able to evangelize from anywhere under any circumstances. What you do says more than what you say, you know the old cliché; “actions speak louder than words.”

While on our family break here at Disneyland, every time I saw a young couple (male & female) attempting to take a selfie while trying to capture the background, I stepped up and offered to take the picture. Each time the couples were ecstatic that I offered and were pleased with the photo(s). When I handed the phone back back I said the same thing, “have an awesome day and God bless you.” Simple right?

My bride and I walked around holding hands and by our actions, we showed our love for each other and what true Christian matrimony is all about. Simple, easy and fun to do.

So, whether you’re at Disneyland or out on the streets, profess your love of God. Bless others, express generosity, and be the person God made you to be.

I Love This Time of Year


    This is definitely my favorite time of year. Cold crisp mornings and the sounds of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra Christmas songs playing. The house is warm and so is the coffee. Yup, this is definitely my favorite time of year and I thank God for times like these.  

    As I sit here eating menudo with my bride at our favorite Mexican  restaurant, I am happy and sometimes that is all a person needs. To be lost in the moments…thank you God.