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.
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.
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.
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.
When discussing pro life issues, stating that we should be concerned about the dignity of all lives is an imbecilic thing to say. We should always be taking care of our fellow man. We should always have in mind the dignity of our fellow man, be it the poor, the elderly, the immigrant, etc. By saying that the dignity of all lives matters is using it as a scapegoat to justify voting for a party who supports the murder of the unborn.
Once again I say, if we do not stress the importance of the dignity of life from the beginning, nothing else matters.
Mark 14:7For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you will, you can do good to them.
Matthew 25:35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
The aforementioned scripture verses are examples of how we should always be taking care of our fellow man.
Now let’s look at a couple of other examples of scripture that refer to the laws of man and God.
Exodus 20:13You shall not kill.
1 Timothy 1:9understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient.
There are many “Christians” out there who absolutely, undeniably, and abhorrently hate President Donald Trump. To them I pose this question; how can you hate someone that you do not know?
What does scripture say about hate?
1 John 4:20If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
1 John 3:15Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
Ephesians 4:29Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Hate comes from fear. Fear comes from the devil. Ask yourselves who you serve?
I know hate. I know the evil of hate and how it can consume a person and blind them from the truth.
Anyone that I’ve ever “hated” in my life was a lie that was constantly being fed to me by the evil one. How could I hate someone I didn’t know? I couldn’t. The truth was I didn’t like the action(s) of the person and instead of saying that, I went beyond the dislike of an action to hatred for the person.
If someone brings up the name Donald Trump, and you cannot have a rational conversation with that person without allowing your feelings to get involved, pray. Pray that God will give you clarity. I had to because I was allowing my feelings to get involved while defending the President. Now, I point out what he has done to help our nation to try to become great again. Let’s face it, other countries used to look up to us or looked at us with envy and jealousy. Now they laugh at us and that was long before President Trump.
Do we take a chance and vote in a party who wants socialism to be the new norm? Or do we vote for the man who has his own “personal” faults that are between he and God, not he and me. The same man who has brought Christianity back into the vocabulary of politics. The same man who defends the dignity of the unborn and is not ashamed to say so.
Remember, 95% of what we say and do is based on feelings. Use that untapped 5% when it come time to vote. Open your eyes and your hearts. Do not trust your feelings when you vote but vote on the issues at hand.
We are now weeks into this epidemic and what have we learned from all of what’s going on with the coronavirus in the United States?
We’ve learned that when push comes to shove, Americans are still strong. Our hospitals, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and rescue personnel are placing themselves in harms way for the health and safety of their communities first. They deserve our thanks and prayers for their health, safety, and for them to continue their work.
We should also thank and pray for our truckers who are working to bring supplies to those in need. Thank and pray for the American worker, who’s job has been deemed “essential” and are still doing their part to keep the country going.
Pray for and look after those who’ve lost their jobs and businesses. During times like these, stress, anxiety, and depression can hit home hard leading to drinking, drug use, and sometimes suicide. Be kind to and look out for each other. Help your fellow man.
The biggest thing that I’ve noticed throughout this whole ordeal, in my opinion, is the fact that we to place God back in the center of our lives. I honestly feel that he’s been warning us over these past few decades and instead of getting better, as a whole, we are getting worse. Disobeying his laws, making a mockery out of the sacrament of marriage, the continued murdering of the unborn, and countless other acts that snub our noses at God. God is a loving God, but he is also a just God.
What have I learned about myself during this time? A lot! I’ve noticed where the lack of God is in my life. I’ve learned that although I’ve come to grips with certain areas in my life, more work is needed to attain the peace that I’ve desperately searched for. Day by day and with the grace of God, I will achieve my goals too.
You would figure by now that most “Catholics” would really have some clue about their faith right? Wrong! I don’t place all the blame on them, although it is “our” responsibility to know our faith or learn more about it but, when the majority of our ordained don’t talk about the evils of abortion or they downplay it as not being that important, how is the flock supposed to know the severity of it?
The USCCB came out with their own (in my opinion) weak version of helping parishioners know how to vote called: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. I’m going, to put it bluntly here. Most “Catholics” fall under what I refer to as “nominal” and they are not going to take the time to read a 42-page booklet informing them how to vote. Why? Well besides the fact that most are lazy when it comes to their faith and don’t want to know more, they instead depend on their priests or deacons to tell them what is right and wrong. The problem is when you have priest and deacons who are liberal, uneducated in Church teachings themselves, that don’t want to piss off the high dollar donating parishioners of their church, and/or are weak and timid and afraid of their flock, the message never hits the ears of the parishioners.
It all starts from the top though with Pope Francis, our Cardinals and Bishops. I personally feel that Pope Francis has placed more emphasis on the plight of migrants and ecological issues than that of the unborn although recently he and the bishops of the USCCB have stated the importance of abortion being the “preeminent priority” for Catholics when it comes to voting.
When it comes to the USCCB, we don’t have enough Cardinals or Bishops who go out publicly emphasizing how important the issue of abortion is when it comes to voting. There are however a few good men that do; men such as Arch Bishop Joseph Naumann, Chairman of the USCCB’s committee on pro-life activities. The American bishops and Pope Francis both affirm that the “preeminent priority” for Catholics when voting is the protection of the child in the womb, said Archbishop Joseph Naumann in his homily for Thursday’s vigil Mass for the March for Life. And while Catholics must consider “many important societal issues with great moral significance,” such as immigration reform, care for refugees and the poor, health care, religious liberty, and the “care for creation,” the bishops “affirmed that the protection of the unborn remains the preeminent priority,” Naumann said.
He also cited Pope St. John Paul II’s “landmark and prophetic” encyclical The Gospel of Life, issued 25 years ago this March 25, the feast of the Annunciation. The sainted pontiff noted that the “vast array of threats to human life” included poverty, the arms trade, drugs, and the promotion of “certain forms of sexual activity,” but “spoke clearly that special attention should be given to the issues of abortion and euthanasia,” Naumann observed.
Bishop Naumann went on to say that Since 1973, 61 million unborn children have been killed by abortion and each had a father and mother “who’ve been starved by the death of their child.”
Naumann also related that when he and bishops from Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska met with Pope Francis one week ago for their ad limina visit, “I told him that we received some criticism, even being accused of insulting the pope.”
The pope “appeared stunned,” and asked why.
“And I said because we called the protection of the unborn a ‘preeminent priority,’ and his immediate response was, ‘It is a preeminent priority’. Pope Francis said if we do not defend life, no other rights matter,” Naumann said.
“God and 14 other bishops are my witnesses that Pope Francis was passionate in the support of the Church’s pro-life efforts. My friends, the successor of Peter has our backs,” added the archbishop.
So there now you’ve heard it, straight from the horse’s mouth, well…sort of. For some of you all out there, I know that if you don’t hear it straight from Christ himself, it means nothing to you. For those of you who do think that way, quit being idiots! This is deeper than Republican and Democrat and if you can’t get that through your head then you better drop on your knees and ask God for forgiveness for the sin that you will commit when you vote for the Democratic presidential nominee. If you don’t think it’s a sin, let me drop a little bit of knowledge on you.
I want to finish off with scripture and something else to think about. The Judgement of the Nations – Matthew 25:31-46
31 “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
When your day comes to be judged and you are in front of the King of Kings saying; “when you were hungry I fed you, you were thirsty and I gave you drink, a stranger and I welcomed you, naked and I clothed you.” And you hear the reply, “When I was conceived and in the womb, you did not fight for me, you did not stand up and defend my rights, you voted for those who oppose the sanctity of life-based on pro-choice, and you allowed me to be killed.”
When you die, do you want to hear the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” or do you want to hear “’Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
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.
I hear this from men far too often, “You have no idea how bad of a person I am. Jesus would laugh at me if I asked for forgiveness.” Sound familiar? Nothing could be further from the truth though. Jesus longs to forgive us and he never tires of doing so, just like he did with the woman caught in adultery: John 8:10-11 Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.”
Jesus’ love is greater than any sin you may have. Always remember this, Jesus loves you, and he wants to forgive you. All you have to do is ask. Sounds simple and that’s because it is simple. As humans, and especially as men, we tend to complicate things, make them harder than what they are or make the situation harder than what it is. The Lord longs to forgive us and we must share that message with everyone. Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you; therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. We must humble ourselves before the Lord our God and approach the Sacrament of Penance so that we can be healed of our sins. CCC 1422 “Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.”
Going to confession can be unsettling, especially if it has been a while since you’ve been. Have no fear for God is with you. Remember that you are not confessing your sins to just a priest, in that moment, he is in the person of Christ – In Persona Christi and you are confessing your sins to Jesus Christ. How Awesome is that! Sin separates us from God and all it takes is one mortal sin. Should we die with that one mortal sin in our soul, we will spend the rest of eternity in hell. God gave us the gift of free will men. Let us use it wisely and come back to the state of grace. God bless.