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.

Life

Hello everyone. I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to finish my posts on the 7 Deadly Sins. Life got in the way.

About a month ago I had a bout with diverticulitis. Very painful and it in a nutshell, it sucks.

Fast forward to last night. After three hours of vomiting I decided to go to the ER. I was discharged later and diagnosed with Epiploic Appendagitis, something new for me and something new in the medical field (just my luck lol).

I have a follow-up with the surgeons tomorrow to see where we go from here. In the meantime, I’ll get back to work on finishing the 7 Deadly Sins posts and go on from there.

Please keep me in your prayers and ill do the same for you. Until next time, 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 – 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.

30 Day Retreat Follow Up: Epic Fail or Lesson Learned?

My 30 day retreat ended after 2 days and let me tell you, those were the most intense two days of silence and prayer that I’ve ever experienced, which was a good thing. Overall I’m not looking at this as a failure but rather a taste of things to come in the future. Who knows, maybe next time I will do 3 days or a week.

When I was alone without distractions and my mind started to clear, the more important things in my life started to come up to the forefront. It gave me time to think about what I need to be doing like spending more quality time with family at home and those not at home. I could step up my game at work. I can improve upon my prayer life. I can do more around the house than what I do.

The most important thing that I learned though in those 2 days was to take some time, every day to spend in quiet prayer. That is hard to do for a lot of us with distractions at home, etc… but it can be done, you just need to make it happen.

There is so much more to this 30 day plan that I didn’t get to experience because I stopped so soon. Like I said earlier, maybe next time I’ll shoot for 3 days or a week. Maybe next time I spend those 3 days out in the wilderness with no distractions? Or maybe, I don’t do it at all? Which leads me to my final observation during those 2 days. I asked myself, “Were you doing this because you felt God calling you to do it or was it because a friend of yours did it and you saw the changes in him?” Basically, was I doing this for God or for me? 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

So ask yourself, “Do I do all to the glory of God?” Something to think about.

Until next time, Buen Camino and God bless.

A Warrior’s Cry: A Prayer Before Battle

A man holds a rosary in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

In days of old, warriors used to pray before a battle. As a Christian, you have been fighting a battle ever since the day that you were born. It’s not a physical battle or at least not always; it is spiritual warfare, a battle against Satan and his demons.

Now the time has come to pray to the Lord Our God, to protect us from the evil out there and to give us the strength to go into battle. Are you ready to fight? Let us pray.

For Protection

Psalms 7

O LORD my God, in thee do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me, lest like a lion they rend me, dragging me away, with none to rescue.  O LORD my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands,  if I have requited my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause,  let the enemy pursue me and overtake me, and let him trample my life to the ground, and lay my soul in the dust. [Selah]  Arise, O LORD, in thy anger, lift thyself up against the fury of my enemies; awake, O my God; thou hast appointed a judgment.  Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about thee; and over it take thy seat on high.  The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish thou the righteous, thou who triest the minds and hearts, thou righteous God. My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day.  If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and strung his bow; he has prepared his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts. Behold, the wicked man conceives evil, and is pregnant with mischief, and brings forth lies. He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole which he has made. His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own pate his violence descends. I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

For Strength

Psalms 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;  though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

Proverbs 18:10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

Isaiah 40:29

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Psalms 28:7-8

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. The LORD is the strength of his people, he is the saving refuge of his anointed.

 

 

Losing it

Well it finally happened today, I lost it. Not “Falling Down” losing it but I went off on quite a few people today. Let me explain.

Earlier in the week a Catholic Persona who I’ve followed for quite sometime on Facebook posted something that I found to be quite disturbing. He was passionate about having the sacraments back and finished his post with the hashtag BishopsBringBackOurSacraments. Well I found this to be quite selfish and started to explain that to him. He wasn’t having it. He was dead set that the saints wouldn’t have put up with this and neither should we. I thought that was a pretty bold statement for him to make considering most saints went through much worse and most, if not all, were obedient to the Church and what was asked of them.

Today I saw another “Catholic a Persona” saying the same thing and he had a petition and a website created for this purpose to petition the bishops to bring back the sacraments. That’s when I lost it and proceeded to unload on him with both barrels like Wyatt Earp did after his brother was killed. I let him and his followers have it, French words and all to get my point across (I know. Not my finest moment) until I finally decided to step away to try to cool off. In the end, I issued many an apology but still cited that I disagreed with his viewpoint on the issue.

Maybe saying that he is being disobedient to the Church was too strong but I don’t think so, some of them might feel that way but I don’t. Let me give an example.

As a parent, if my child who is living at home informed me that they were going to go to Cabo San Lucas for spring break, I would not allow them to go and I would explain how this virus is highly contagious and easily spread, especially when you are in big groups. My Child might not like my decision and may even hate me for making it but as a parent, it is my responsibility to keep them healthy and safe, and as a child living at home, they must obey the laws that we as parents have set forth. It is the same with our bishops; they are looking after our health and well being during these times. They don’t enjoy saying no but it is for the safety of the whole, not the few.

I still say that those who are pushing to have the sacraments back are being disobedient and selfish. What do they think would happen if the bishops caved in and said “Ok! We will give you what you want” and then a parishioner contracts the virus and dies from it. Now the family of the deceased parishioner wants to sue the Church because they knew about the dangers but proceeded to go against the orders set by the states. Do you think they’d care then? It’s not their deceased family member or them being sued.

For those of you who disagree with me and are persistent in asking for the sacraments to be put back, maybe you should take the examples that I gave to heart and pray on them. While your at it, pray for those who’ve died already because of the virus or for those dying from it now who are not allowed to have a family member be with them as they are passing. Pray for those family members who are so grief stricken because of it. Pray for the medical staff who are working diligently to save lives. Pray for the cleaning workers in the hospitals that work ceaselessly to keep their facilities clean. Pray for them and their families who worry that they might bring the virus home. Pray for our safety personnel; law enforce, fire departments, and paramedics who are also coming in contact with some of those who have the virus. And pray for this epidemic to come to an end sooner than later.

This is not a time for disobedience or selfishness but a time to think about our fellow man. Jesus commanded, “Love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:34

May God bless you all, and until next time, been camino.