In the post-modern “anything goes and nothing means anything” world, men are lost, not knowing what to believe or what to do. Seduced into pursuing their own selfish passions, post-modern men are manipulated like C.S. Lewis predicted they would be: “men without chests”, who don’t know what to believe and are manipulated by those with political and material power through propaganda to do what the powerful desire. This is not freedom, it is slavery.
Everywhere you look, the depressing rotten fruit of post-modernism is poisoning men: men have abandoned women and children, men avoid growing in virtue and pursue the lewd, trivial and profane, wandering aimlessly between various vices, men live sedentary and flabby lives, over-stuffed with cheap calories and alcohol. Like ancient Rome in its dying days, men are seduced with bread (e.g. fast food, microwave meals, the Food Channel) and circuses (e.g. celebrity shenanigans, “news” that seeks to indoctrinate and agitate, video games, sporting events and porn; for many men, this list is in reverse order of time spent watching). Great men of the past and present, scratch their heads, wondering “What the hell happened?” The response: Hell happened. In the post-modern void of nothingness, Satan finds warm bodies.
Post-modern men are not “belongers”, preferring to be “free-agents”, unattached to anything but their own selfish passions. Every man who lives that way learns, sooner or later, that life has an endpoint and brokenness, loneliness and despair comes to every man who tries to go it alone. Men don’t find peace and joy in separateness, men find separateness.
In this dying culture that has lost its way, there is a place of certainty and honor, a place of communion with both God and man, a source for the beautiful, true and good that has stood the test of time: The Catholic Church. Those who don’t know this, don’t know the Catholic Church. Those who think they know the Catholic Church and hate it, don’t know Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church is the Body of Christ and Christ is our Head. You can’t fully love Christ and hate His Catholic Church.
Instead of living as a “free-agent”, every man can become be part of a greater good, the Greatest Good, the good ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Instead of a life of deluded intoxication in worldly distractions, every man can pursue something of infinite value and embrace his God-given greatness. Every man can be a priest, prophet and king.
As a man you are called to greatness and in the Catholic Church every man can become great. Here is a list of the Top Ten Reasons to be a Catholic Man:
10. A Man can be a brother in the Church established by Jesus Christ
God Himself created the Church from the beginning of time and in the fullness of time came to men as Jesus Christ, to establish the Catholic Church on Peter the Rock. The Church has divine authority and a blessed hierarchy. The Catholic Church preserved Christ’s teaching, first in oral Tradition, and then compiled the Bible. The Church is the longest and greatest institution on earth, lasting 2000 years with over 1 billion members of the family. It is made up of every nationality, every race, men and women, old and young, rich and poor. No matter where you go on earth, your home in a Catholic parish is not far away. As a Catholic, each man has found a home and brotherhood and is no longer a stranger wandering alone. By embracing the Church, a man’s life can mean something.
9 . A Man can be part of the Institution that founded and sustained Western Civilization
The Church preserved and perpetuated Greek thought in the face of the barbarian conquests of the 4th and 5th centuries. She established modern communities throughout decimated Europe, established universities and established the basis for science and law, developed many sciences including architecture, genetics and geology. It is the Church that developed and sustained art, architecture and music in the devastated ruins of barbarianism and paganism. The Catholic Church is still the very foundation of Western Civilization, despite the shaky stories that post-modernism have been building in recent centuries. There is little in Western Civilization that is beautiful, good, or true that doesn’t trace its roots to the Church. By embracing the Church, the Church’s history becomes your history.
8. A Man can be part of the greatest force for good in the history of the Earth
Catholics institutionalized the idea of charity, starting hospitals to care for the sick and orphanages to care for the poor. Today, the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization on the planet. She also teaches more children than any other non-governmental organization. Despite the failings of some individuals in the Church, the Church remains the greatest moral authority on earth.
7. A Man can be brothers with the greatest men of all time
In addition to Jesus Christ, the Great Son of God and Son of Man, the Church is a family of the greatest humans in history, the Saints whom we celebrate including such great men as St. Joseph, the human father of Jesus, St. Peter and St. Paul and the Apostles, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. John Paul II. The greatness of these men has stood and will stand the test of time. They are your brothers in Christ. Only in Christ can men find true friendship, friendship based on the desire for the greatest good for a brother. And only in the Church can men be drawn into friendship with Saints, the greatest of men.
6. A Man can be part of the courageous defense of the Culture of Life in the face of evil
Satan is waging a spiritual war through humans in rebellion of God. The Catholic Church is the only unflinching and courageous opposition to the very recent experiment of the Culture of Death. Completely unproven to lead to lasting human flourishing, the confused thinking that has led to the Culture of Death embraces the aborting of children from the womb, euthanasia, homosexuality, sexual depravity and the destruction of marriage. In staunch opposition to Death, in every Mass, in every place in the world, every day the Church prays for all men, that they might be drawn to Jesus Christ, Life Itself. It is the Church who prays in Christ for all men to be blessed with the fullness of Life. And in every definitive teaching, the Church defends life in the fullest, a life in Christ. The Church is the Champion of Life and defender of the weak. No other voice speaks and preserves the Truth like the Catholic Church, for the Church is the voice of Jesus Christ. In the uncertainty and spiraling decay of post-modern mushy thinking, men can find excellent meat in the integrated Truth of Catholic doctrine.
5. A Man can access a proven way of life that leads to happiness
In a world that seeks to seduce with sex and materialism, to confuse with pop-gurus spouting psycho-babble, the Church preserves Christ’s own teachings about how each man can find lasting peace and joy. Within the Church is 2000 years of reflection by the greatest men who have lived on what it means to be a man of Jesus Christ, what St. Thomas Aquinas calls the True, the Good and the Beautiful. No other source for has the fullness and truth of the Catholic Church. In the Church, a man can find out how to be an ideal man, an ideal husband and father. It is in the Church that time is consecrated and the days, weeks and seasons have meaning. Turning to Jesus Christ and His Church leads men to peace and joy.
4. A Man can gain strength and wisdom to help lead his family to Heaven
Our wives, sons and daughters are being drawn by Satan to become lost into secularism, into the ugliness and despair of destructive sexual behavior and perverse ideas of all sorts, ways of living that Christ teaches will condemn them to suffering in this life and the next. A Catholic man who perseveres and passes on the Catholic faith is the single most important influence on his children’s faith. Becoming a Committed Catholic Man is the best insurance that your spouse and children will preserve in the faith and make it to Heaven.
3. A Man can access the Supernatural power of the Sacraments
The Eucharist is the actual Body and Blood of God that carries supernatural grace. Reconciliation offers absolute forgiveness of Sins by God Himself. Nowhere else can man encounter God and receive supernatural power that can actually help a man become more holy and happy. Each man can be supernatural in Christ.
2. A Man can rely on the Queen of Heaven
God Himself, picked Mary to be born without sin and to bear His Son. Mary is with Jesus and prays and intercedes for every one who comes to her. While our earthy mothers will pass away, Mary is here, now, immensely powerful, ready to love us as children of the Church. Drawing closer to Mary draws us closer to Jesus.
1. A Man can be a loyal son of the Eternal King Jesus Christ
As opposed to being a rebel or marauder or a Casual Catholic man of sloth, dishonor and ungratefulness, each Catholic man can choose to be a Committed Catholic Man. He can pledge allegiance and give himself completely to the one Almighty and Greatest Man, the most impressive Man who has ever lived and lives now, Jesus Christ, the Most Powerful and Almighty King. By being a Committed Catholic man, each man can be a nobleman, a man of honor, a man who is mighty, a man who is an aspiring Saint. Being a Committed Catholic Man is the greatest aspiration any man can every have, to be a loyal servant to the Eternal King.
Don’t believe those who hate the Church; they have their own agenda, an agenda that is not Christ’s agenda. Don’t listen to those who seek to attack the Church by pointing to the behavior of sinful men within the Church who have sinned; they are sinful men in the Church, they are not the Church. Christ picked Judas, don’t be confused by those who’s only point is that some Judases still exist.
Look instead to this list of the greatness of the Church. If you are a Catholic man, in whatever place of your faith life, think on these things and give thanks that Christ has welcomed you into His Church. If you are not yet Catholic, consider these things, perhaps with a new gratitude for what the Church has done for humanity through Christ our Lord.
And above all, spend more and more time each day, praying that Jesus Christ may be known, loved and served in the world.
Matthew James Christoff is a Catholic convert. He is the founder of The New Emangelization Project which is committed to confront the Catholic “man-crisis” and to develop new ardor, methods and expressions for the re-evangelization of Catholic men. Matthew is also a co-founder of CatholicManNight, a parish-based men’s evangelization effort that has drawn thousands of Catholic men into Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, fellowship and lively discussion. Matthew lives in Minnesota with his beautiful bride (and childhood sweetheart); they have 4 adult children, 3 “in-law” children and two grandchildren.
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