Happy Lent 2014. Ok, well maybe it’s not happy… it’s not supposed to be. Either way, I’m pumped about Lent this year! I’m ready to dive into my Lenten devotions so that I can work on growing in virtue, specifically through personal discipline and self-control.
Here’s a vlog on Cultural Manliness, encouraging men to be counter-cultural and to “get your gear on, and pack up.”
The day has come. The time is now. After a few years of dormancy, and many headaches in dealing the ramifications of our site being hacked back in 2011, and the countless and continued issues through 2012/13, TrueManhood.com is back up and running! We are thrilled! The first real blog post will come tomorrow.
I chose Ash Wednesday 2014 because I thought it was fitting. In the attempt to help aid men in their journey towards TrueManhood (aka “authentic masculinity”), what better time than now to unite our lives to Jesus Christ? That’s what Lent is all about. As the perfect example of TrueManhood, we know that Jesus provides the model by which to live.
We’re going to work to bring solid content, and focus on an area that we know needs some serious attention… “cultural manliness©“. Essentially… “What does it mean for a male to be a man?” For those reading who might not know this term, cultural manliness is the idea of masculinity that the world is selling to males. It tells us that “the more power, money, sex, and stuff a man consumes, the more manly he is.” As I’ve written time and again, this is a lie! Masculinity is all about virtue, not about consuming things and people.
We welcome all men to journey with us towards TrueManhood. However, be aware… TrueManhood is counter-cultural, radical, and about persevering in these areas. It is not easy. It is not always fun. It is not the way of the world. Get your gear on, make preparations, and come along in the battle.
I don’t tweet. I have a Twitter account, and my Facebook page updates are automatically put on Twitter, but as for following, tweeting, re-tweeting, etc… I haven’t gotten into it. I can see, however, from the post below, that Twitter can actually bring about some good. Here’s a status from yesterday’s (2/8/12) #4 most mentioned person, my friend, John Leyendecker.
THROWING STONES AT OCHO’S PORNOGRAPHY - read below or view on the FOCUS Equip website.
So yesterday Chad Ochocinco (his Twitter handle is: @ochocinco) responded to me (@johnleyendecker) on Twitter! Can you believe it? I mean, c’mon, the guy has 3.2 million followers and he responded to me! This was huge! My kids have his Bengals jerseys (sorry Patriots fans) both with Johnson and Ochocinco on the back. My 4 year old son’s nickname is Sojo, which he immediately turned into Sojo-Cinco. Needless to say, we are HUGE fans.
What was said was troubling, but not surprising.
Here is the thread:
It all started when a Twitter follower of Chad Ochocinco’s asked him about a pornography website.
In response to this tweet, I tweeted:
@johnleyendecker: @ochocinco you claim to be Christian, yet look at porn? You are a joke. Be a man. Honor your God and women. Kids look up to you.
This is when Ochocinco responds directly to my tweet:
@ochocinco: I tend to back slide every now and then kind sir. RT@johnleyendecker: @ochocinco you claim to be Christian, yet look at porn?
@johnleyendecker: just hope that people realize you are backsliding, not glorifying it. Peace & grace to you!
@ochocinco: I love you to oh Holy One RT @johnleyendecker: just hope that people realize you are backsliding, not glorifying it. Peace & grace to you!
From this interaction, almost 300 people on Twitter replied to our conversation. Some defended him and some encouraged me…but they mostly defended him.
Twitter only allows 140 characters, so I wanted to tell Chad and others what I really meant:
First, I want to apologize because in my zeal I left out a key phrase that would have given better context. I meant to say “you claim to be a Christian, yet you are glorifying looking at pornography.” So for this, I ask your forgiveness.
But the rest, I have to admit, I meant. Men who look at pornography and have no remorse, regret, or even go so far as to make it seem creative as you did Chad are a joke. Not joke, funny, but as in a joke not to be taken seriously.
I appreciate your comment about backsliding. I know a lot about backsliding. I know a lot about my own brokenness being what Christ is using in me to heal others. I know very well St. Paul’s words, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15) I have to admit Chad, I don’t take it lightly.
You see, I’ve been in ministry for 10 years and have seen the destruction that pornography causes in men’s and women’s lives. I have friends that work to liberate women and children from the sex slave industry that is built on the foundation of pornography. I will not quote to you the statistics or the studies, you can read them all on your own, but I want to share with you my heart and extend grace to you. Maybe you don’t know how destructive porn is? Maybe to justify your own addiction, you make light of it? Or worse, maybe you talk about it because you think it’s what your fans want to hear? I’m not sure, but I want to assume the best of you.
As men we are called to be responsible. A man who follows Christ takes responsibility. There is nothing funny or cool about pornography. Women have a tremendous dignity, a dignity that should be honored and guarded by men, not exploited and degraded. We are responsible for those men and women as leaders. Chad, you are a leader. Many young men and women look up to you as an example whether you like that or not. St. Paul says, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)
I ask you, and remind myself of it as I ask it of you, to have the courage of your convictions. If you are trapped in bondage to pornography, ask for help. If you are embarrassed or feel guilty about some of things you have said, let’s repent and do better. Women deserve better, God deserves better, and as an adopted son of God, you deserve better too Chad. I wrote this because I care about you bro. I hope it can be an encouragement to you. If not, and you think I’m completely off-base, please resolve to pray for me. Please see that I wasn’t throwing stones at you or judging your heart, only God knows a man’s heart, but I can’t let a brother in Christ actions go unchecked, especially when it is hurting so many.
|John converted to Catholicism in 1999 after a very prodigal lifestyle. It is from this place of brokenness that he shares what Christ has done in his life. He received his degree in classics and theology from Xavier University. Working with FOCUS at Colorado State for 4 1/2 years has made him passionate for the work of the New Evangelization. Currently John and his wife of 9 years, Lisa, live in Fort Collins, Colorado, with their five children.
You can follow him on Twitter @johnleyendecker
A series of posts I used to write were called “Tuesdays with Daddy.” [They're in the blog archives under the Fatherhood tab.] These posts were about my time at home, on Tuesdays, with my daughters. At the time, I had two toddler daughters that I was lucky enough to be able to spend special time with on Tuesdays. Today, I took the opportunity to stop working (I mostly work from home) and I went outside with them. It was a beautiful day and I figured it would do us all some good.
Nowadays, it’s not just my two girls, I also have a one year old son, Dave Jr. He’s really awesome, and we had a great time outside today. (Maybe if I can get the video edited together quickly enough, I will post the video of him riding on his four-wheeler by himself! Yes folks, he turned 1 last week and can ride the thing by himself!) All three of them were all over our fields and sincerely enjoying the outdoors, the sunshine, and even the brisk breeze that was lightly blowing today. I was running around with them, laughing and joking, holding them and hugging them, throwing them in the air, pushing them on the tree swing, watching them on the four-wheeler, playing t-ball, helping them ride their bikes, and showing them the old tractors. What a way to rejuvenate!
When I came in the house, it was time to get back to work. When I sat back down at my computer, I was so filled with joy, it was almost hard to sit still. I took an hour out of my workday to be with the people who are the most important in my life. Not only will they remember it, I will remember it. Not only did it bring life to them today, it brought life to me today. What a blessing my children are to me.
If you’re a father, and you’re like me, you often get bogged down in the “stuff that has to get done.” Work, helping your wife, chores around the house, helping your wife, this meeting and that meeting, taking care of the vehicles, oh yeah don’t forget prayer, helping your wife, going to the bank, making money, helping your wife… on and on. The “stuff” never stops. But without a doubt, your kids grow up more and more each day. Every once and a while, just drop what you’re doing and take your kids outside. If your kids are anything like mine, and they probably are, they really don’t care what they get to do with Daddy, they just know that they get to be with Daddy! Don’t let another day go by without spending this invaluable time with your kids.
Last thing… I have been really frustrated lately. I plan to write more on this in a coming post. My frustration stems from things that I see in our society, in the government, the 2012 presidential election, things that are happening in and to the Church and so on. I have to remember, and ask you to consider, this… our world isn’t doomed. Our world is set for joy, as long as we teach our kids how to live joyfully. Once we and those who die before us are gone, our kids are in charge. If they know how to live with joy, our world will be just fine.
Here’s a pretty good video about the HHS “Healthcare” Mandate. If you haven’t seen the previous post from Archbishop Dolan, please click HERE to watch that video and read that post first, then watch this video.
They fail, in my opinion, to really distinguish one of the biggest problems here. Yes, the cover the civil liberty assault well, and
certainly the Rabbi spoke well about this not being a Catholic-only issue, and so forth. However, what they fail to mention is that there is a fundamental difference between what the Catholic Church teaches on contraception, sterilization and abortion versus the idea of “women’s health.” No matter how it is spun, even by medical doctors (OB/GYNs at the forefront), contraception, sterilization, and abortion ARE not healthcare… they hurt women and kill babies.
For those in favor of this mandate, they state issues about, as the press secretary did over and over in his press conference, “increasing access to these important preventative services.” This is their attempt at watering down the mandate so that it seems as though it won’t really effect that many people. This is a lie and is a blatant one at that.
Men – as you see this Priest, Rabbi, and Lawyer doing, you must also do. You must stand against the attacks that are befalling our country, our communities, our women and children, and our Church. This must end.
I just learned that February 7-14 is National Marriage Week. I guess it’s fitting, with Valentine’s Day and all those commercialized red hearts. Sort of cliche, if you ask me. But, nonetheless, it is a real thing. Even the US Catholic Bishops are behind this. I’m putting this out now, a few days ahead, so you can get thinking, planning, and doing!
I’m all for marriage. It is an incredible blessing to be a married man. It challenges me, no doubt… but at the end of the day, and hopefully at the end of my life, I will be sanctified because of it. There’s really nothing like giving your whole self to someone else for your entirety here on earth. Something to ponder, for sure.
To consider where you are with things in your marriage, or if you aren’t married, to maybe consider what you want in your future marriage, here’s a blurb from the USCCB website on National Marriage Week:
It’s the month of romance! Here are a couple February events to celebrate love and marriage:
“Let’s Strengthen Marriage” is the theme of National Marriage Week, Feb. 7-14, 2012. National Marriage Week, now in its third year, is a collaborative effort to promote marriage as a benefit to husbands, wives and the community, as well as the best environment in which to raise children. Resources for couples and organizations who want to promote marriage are available on the website.
World Marriage Day will be observed on Sunday, February 12. For more than 30 years this Day has been promoted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter. If you’re looking for resources that your parish can use to celebrate World Marriage Day, check out the WWME website.
In honor of National Marriage Week and World Marriage Day, here are three FAQs that the website frequently responds to.
(1) We just got engaged. Do you have any suggestions for tools that can help us to deepen our relationship?
First, congratulations on your upcoming marriage! Try starting with the Personality Audit. It’s a great way to understand yourself and your fiance(e) better. Family of origin issues arise in many marriages. Take the Family of Origin exercise to discover how your experiences growing up were similar or different. Most of us tend to avoid topics that are sensitive, or where we think we might disagree with our spouse or fiance(e). Here are some ideas for those “Must-Have Conversations” on such topics as intimacy, finances, and commitment.
(2) How can we find a marriage education or marriage enrichment class in our area?
Many organizations—religious and others—offer programs to help couples improve their marital skills. These classes can cover everything from communication and conflict resolution to budgeting and time management. To find a program in your area, try starting with the Smart Marriages directory of programs. Also check out the list of classes on the National Marriage Week website.
Another possibility is to contact your diocesan Family Life Office. For contact information, go to the Family Life Office locator on the homepage. Finally, many couples at all stages of marriage have benefitted from a Marriage Encounter weekend. For information go to the Worldwide Marriage Encounter website.
(3) My spouse and I are experiencing problems in our marriage. Where can we go for help?
First of all, check out the article “Finding Help When Your Marriage in Trouble.” It explains a range of options for couples who are experiencing marital difficulties. If you’re looking for a counselor, try asking your pastor or parish staff member for a recommendation. Many parishes maintain lists of counselors who deal with various issues. The counselor should have specific training and experience in marriage counseling. Many diocesan Catholic Charities offices offer counseling or can refer you. Contact information for Catholic Charities is usually available on the diocesan website.
Couples with serious problems may consider making a Retrouvaille weekend. Retrouvaille has a solid record of bringing couples back from the brink of divorce. Information about local Retrouvaille weekends is available on their website.
Did you know that we have a holocaust taking place in our country? It’s happening in every state, and it is legal. 4,000 human lives are being destroyed each day, and the courts support this innocent slaughter of human life, and we’re supposed to go along with it. Tax dollars, government subsidy, lobbyists, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare; they’re all wrapped up into it. It’s called Abortion.
It is unfathomable that we allow abortion, especially knowing all we know about it. There are countless facts, statistics, and logical arguments why abortion is murder, but I’m not going to get into any of those. I’m going to concentrate on the real problem. The problem with abortion is men.
Why? Plain and simple. 85% of all abortions taking place in America are performed on single women. That means that out of the 4,000 babies that were murdered today, 3,400 of those women who had an abortion were not married, and as many of you know, they feel they have no way out. When single women are out sleeping around, who are they sleeping with? Males. Who gets them pregnant? Males. (Yes, God plays a huge part in the creation of that life, too.) The facts continually lead back to the actions of the men.
If a woman is married, in a safe environment and protected, she isn’t likely to get an abortion. Facts are facts. These women feel led, protected and provided for, thus they welcome a new child. Women who aren’t, don’t. Men – when are we (as a gender) going to stop being selfish and self-serving and start protecting and cherishing women? If you’re not married to her, you have no right to her – don’t touch! She’s not there for your pleasure. Serve her! Take care of her! Love her!!!
I heard a story today of a 20-year-old single woman who recently found out she was pregnant. The sperm donor (best way to describe him… he isn’t married to her, isn’t her boyfriend, wasn’t even really her friend, just a “meaningless” hookup) told her “I’ll pay for everything. I’ll even give you a ride and drop you off. It’ll be fine.” Class act, right? Is the problem the baby? CERTAINLY NOT! Is the problem the young woman? Not really, although she plays into the equation. The problem is the man. I hate referring to this sort of male as a man, because he most definitely is not living like one.
Men – abortion is only available because we allow it to be… because, in some totally screwed up way, we necessitate it by our actions. Don’t be fooled, abortion is not about women’s health, women’s bodies, or women’s choice. That’s a huge load of garbage. And listen, I’m not saying that women don’t have anything to do with it, certainly they do, but the responsibility is on us. Abortion will cease when men stop sleeping around, stay faithful and monogamous, and stop allowing the abuse, assault and murder of innocent babies. The time is now, brothers.
I wrote an article for “Made in His Image” ministry on men and virtue. Typical stuff for TrueManhood, but something that Maura’s readers might not get a lot of. To help support her and what she’s doing, please click the link to take you to there.
What MIHI is all about is helping women who struggle with eating disorders and/or who were victimized by abuse. There is currently no other Catholic organization specializing in inpatient medical care for the healing of women, and Maura is working on creating this much needed resource. I greatly applaud Maura for her efforts. The issue of eating disorders and abuse can go hand in hand. For countless numbers of women, young women specifically, a lack of self-worth can spur into many psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual issues.
For men, the issue that is constantly looming over us is the issue of sexual integrity, mostly dealing with pornography. Not every man struggles, but just about every man did, does, or will. For women, one main issue (compared to men’s issues with pornography, lust, etc.) is self-esteem and eating disorders, most of the time stemming from abuse of some kind. Not all women struggle with this, but many do and more will if nothing is done about it.
I plan to write an article soon on the problems that women face when they fail to find their value from the proper source. Watch for that soon. You’ll be seeing more about MIHI on TrueManhood.com in the future.
With great excitement, I write to let everyone know that TrueManhood is back up and running! After a break for over 2 months due to a website hack, we were finally able to remove all the malware and are back at it. Thank you to the hacker for allowing me to learn about website security a little bit more and about ways to protect my website from future hacks. I pray for you and hope for your sake, that from now on, instead of hacking my website, that you actually read it.
Many things have taken place in the world of Catholic men’s ministry, in the Catholic Church, in the pro-life battle and in America and we are sorry that we’ve missed it.
More to come soon on the fight against pornography, cultural manliness, and the culture of death!
At the last two TKM Into the Wild retreats in October, we came across this very powerful and invigorating writing in the Magnificat from Patrick Madrid, a Catholic author and apologist. The timing of this publication was impeccable. It was amazing to hear the men read these words after having gone through so much growth on the weekend. Many men embraced these words and are now Part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE UNASHAMED
THE DIE HAS BEEN CAST. THE DECISION HAS BEEN MADE. I HAVE STEPPED OVER THE LINE. I WON’T LOOK BACK, LET UP, SLOW DOWN, BACK AWAY, OR BE STILL.
MY PAST IS REDEEMED, MY PRESENT MAKES SENSE, AND MY FUTURE IS IN GOD’S HANDS. I AM FINISHED AND DONE WITH LOW LIVING, SIGHT WALKING, SMALL PLANNING, THE BARE MINIMUM, SMOOTH KNEES, COLORLESS DREAMS, TAMED VISIONS, MUNDANE TALKING, FRIVOLOUS LIVING, SELFISH GIVING, AND DWARFED GOALS.
I NO LONGER NEED PREEMINENCE, PROPERITY, POSITION, PROMOTIONS, APPLAUSE, OR POPULARITY. I DON’T HAVE TO BE RIGHT, FIRST, THE BEST, RECOGNIZED, PRAISED, REGARDED OR REWARDED. I NOW LIVE BY FAITH. I LEAN ON CHRIST’S PRESENCE. I LOVE WITH PATIENCE, LIVE BY PRAYER, AND LABOR WITH THE POWER OF GOD’S GRACE.
MY FACE IS SET. MY GAIT IS FAST, MY GOAL IS HEAVEN. MY ROAD IS NARROW, MY WAY IS ROUGH, MY COMPANIONS ARE FEW, MY GUIDE IS RELIABLE, AND MY MISSION IS CLEAR.
I CANNOT BE BOUGHT, COMPROMISED, DETOURED, LURED AWAY, TURNED BACK, DELUDED, OR DELAYED. I WILL NOT FLINCH IN THE FACE OF SACRIFICE, HESITATE IN THE PRESENCE OF ADVERSITY, NEGOTIATE AT THE TABLE OF THE ENEMY, PONDER AT THE POOL OF POPULARITY, OR MEANDER IN THE MAZE OF MEDIOCRITY.
I WON’T GIVE UP, SHUT UP, LET UP, OR SLOW UP UNTIL I HAVE STAYED UP, STORED UP, PRAYED UP, PAID UP, AND SPOKEN UP FOR THE CAUSE OF CHRIST.
I AM A DISCIPLE OF JESUS. I MUST GO TILL HE COMES, GIVE UNTIL I DROP, SPEAK OUT UNTIL ALL KNOW, AND WORK UNTIL HE STOPS ME. AND WHEN HE RETURNS FOR HIS OWN, HE WILL HAVE NO DIFFICULTY RECOGNIZING ME. MY BANNER IS CLEAR; I AM A PART OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE UNASHAMED.
BY PATRICK MADRID