A Pope for the Others

September 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog, cultural manliness, Evangelization, Faith, manliness

Pope St. John Paul the Great (JP2) was “A Pope for the World.”  He helped bring peace to the world by fighting the Nazi’s, communism, and the tyranny of the Cold War.  He traveled the world like no previous Pope in history (obviously, modern technology and transportation-accessibility helped that) and was embraced as a man of peace.  The way in which he challenged the world to become united was incredible, and although there were always those who disagreed, he was instrumental in peace-filled actions (too numerous to mention) all around the world.  For these reasons, and others, he was a Pope for the world.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was “A Pope for the Church.”  Even before his time as Pope, and certainly during and after, he worked to solidify the liturgy and to make certain that orthodoxy within the Church was upheld.  His work dating back to Vatican II is incredible, and the Church is better because of it.  Pope Benedict worked to unite the Church and to strengthen Her from within.  For these reasons, and others, he was a Pope for the Church.

I believe that Pope Francis is “A Pope for the Others.”  Pope Francis – due majorly in part to the media – has had a huge impact on the lives of “the others.”  What do I mean by “others”?  Well, those who are outside of the Church for whatever reason.  Francis takes the age-old approach of, as I’ve mentioned before, “The Good Shepherd.”  Francis knows that the sheep have been dispersed, attacked, and lost, but he desires for even that 1 lost sheep to be brought back into the fold.  Much debate about his ways, his tactics, and his methods have been scrutinized and brought into question.  For the millionth time… what he is doing is good, faithful, and amazing!  Catholics who are opposed to him need to seriously check their pride, egos, and motives because you’re missing the big picture.  Maybe, just maybe, not everything in life is all about you.

Pope Francis selfiesSee, Pope Francis is an evangelist.  I and others know this because I see him and his methods, and I too prescribe to this form of ministry.  I too am an evangelist and believe that his approach to ministry is absolutely effective and working.  Just look at posts and comments from atheists, agnostics, anti-Catholics, and especially from fallen-away-Catholics… they are drawn to him and his heart.  One small example!  They see his authenticity and genuine care for others and that causes them pause and urges them to consider not only what he does but what he says.  This speaks volumes.  Beating people into submission doesn’t work.  Forcing, coercing, bribing, and/or guilting people into a set of beliefs doesn’t work.  Telling people how bad they are, casting them out further, and alienating them doesn’t work.  What works is love, and no matter how counter-cultural it is, we must begin to believe that love is the answer to all things.  For these reasons, and others,  Pope Francis is a Pope for the “others.”

Perhaps you’re an “other” and happen to be reading this.  Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad you’re here.  I hope that my site is a place that encourages you to consider what authentic masculinity really is, and hopefully will inspire a response towards living as an authentic person.  If you’re a man, the challenge is simple – live by following the example of Jesus Christ, the One True God and True Man; virtue, virtue, virtue.  (Check out my resources tab above and click on the “Guide to Virtue” for more.)

Pope JP2, Ben16, Francis

Men, I hope that as you read this, you realize that there are many in our midst that are opposed to the Catholic Church.  They are opposed to the ideas of TrueManhood, they are opposed to religion, they are opposed to faith-based-anything.  They have bought the lie of the world (cultural manliness) and as far as they are concerned, that’s fine, fun, and good for them.  What they are missing is the alternative… a life as God intended it, serving one another, loving one another, and preaching the Good News.  Pope Francis does this naturally, and is really spectacular at it.  Take heed and learn from him.  He’s prompting you to do the same, in your unique way, so that others can see the light of Christ through you.

TrueMan up!

Don’t Write Him Off

March 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog, cultural manliness, Faith, manliness, Virtue

leather booksI’m certainly guilty of it.  I imagine most of you are, too.  We see a person, and make a snap judgment.  “They must be _________.” (fill in the blank.)  It doesn’t matter what the snap judgment is, it matters because we just made it.  We broke one of the cardinal-cliché-rules… we judged a book by its cover.  Sure, sometimes our assumptions are correct.  Other times, maybe most of the time, we are dead wrong.  In the evangelization world, being dead wrong can cost people their souls.

 Back in the day, I’m certain that people judged my cover properly… there wasn’t much of a secret that I was the least likely candidate for anyone to invest in, but thankfully, they went beyond my cover and saw the potential on the inside.  My “book cover” screamed of anti-Catholic sentiment, with a splash of rage, a hefty dose of pride, a heaping handful of aggression, an overflowing cup of womanizing, and a host of other horrible traits.  And that was just what was on the surface that people could see!  I was pretty far gone, yet people saw enough hope in the risen Lord that He could get to me, and He did.  I am forever grateful to the people who didn’t give up on me, and want to urge you to remember that you can’t simply write a man off because he appears a certain way, or even acts a certain way.

bearded man

This man was actually a pastor of a church, disguised as a homeless man who showed up for church one day.

Who might I be talking about?  Men who are overly rich, men who are overly poor.  Men who are into heavy rock, or into gangster rap.  It might be men who spend copious amounts of time in the gym, or at the firing range, or in the garage, or at the clubs.  How about men who use four letter words every third word?  It might be men who’ve never graced the doors of a church, or the man sitting in the pew behind you in Mass every week.  Men with kids, men without.  Men who smoke, men who drink.  Men with tattoos, men with scars.  Men who wear boots, men who carry guns.  Men who drive sports cars, or jacked up trucks, or an old jalopy.  My point… it doesn’t matter – each man has the same calling to TrueManhood.

StPaulasSaulofTarsusknockedoffhisho

St. Paul, as Saul of Tarsus, Knocked off his horse

 As with everything, we should look to Christ.  Who did He invest in?  Jesus spent time, and befriended, some of the worst dudes around.  He knew what He was doing, and look what those men did!  Take the various fishermen, or the tax-collector, or even the worst persecutor of Christians of the time.  Jesus went after them, conquered their hearts, and commissioned them to go out and make disciples of all nations.  These ruffians, thugs, scallywags, and barbarians became the greatest evangelists of all time.  Thank the Lord that He didn’t write them off!

 So here’s an action-challenge: assess your scope of influence, determining the men in that scope, whether family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, strangers, etc. and make a list of any/all men that you’ve written off.  By writing them off, you’ve missed opportunities to talk to them, to learn about them (or learn from them), to ask them questions, to give them the benefit of the doubt, etc.  By writing them off, you’ve also destroyed the opportunity to serve them, love them, and to call them to something higher in life.  Take this list – whether it be 1 man or 20 – and begin to pray for each man by name.  In your prayer, ask God to guide your interactions (especially the next one) and to give you the strength to say or do what is right.  You may be the only opportunity that man has to learn about Jesus Christ, the TrueMan.  And you never know, he may be the next great evangelist that the world needs.

 When my college friends chose not to write me off, it allowed a seed to blossom into many fruitful things.  Had they written me off, and not seen the potential in me, only God knows where I would have been.  I’m sure it wouldn’t be good, and I’m sure that many of the bad decisions I was making would have been amplified and continued.  Thankfully, my conversion towards Christ changed me, brought me back into His Universal Church, led me to my wife and our four beautiful children.  Thankfully, my conversion led to these years of service in ministry – hopefully doing the greatest good, of loving people and telling the Good News – and especially this ministry, TrueManhood Men’s Ministry.

 Regardless of what a man is “in to”, he is called to holiness, to union with God.  God the Father desires to have a relationship with His son.  It may take you or me to introduce the son to his Father.  Don’t shy away from the opportunities to reach out to even the least likely candidates.

 TrueMan up!

Fallible Blogma’s “Support a Catholic Speaker” Month

October 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Support-Catholic-Speaker-MoI agreed to write up a brief post on a Catholic speaker for Fallible Blogma‘s “Support a Catholic Speaker” Month.  Click HERE to see the entire list.  I chose to blog about Mr. Richard Lane.  Here’s his bio:

“Born in Detroit, Michigan to Mary O. Alexander, retired Educator for the Highland Park School system and the Late Dick “Night Train” Lane; National Football League Hall of Fame Cornerback, Mr. Lane, Jr. attended Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia and also served honorably for nearly six years in the United States Army Military Police Corps in numerous domestic and international locations.

As a convert to the Faith in April 19, 2003, it was in early 2005 when Mr. Lane was lead to begin proclaiming the Gospel as a Street Corner Evangelist, sharing the Word of God, passing out Bibles, Crosses and other Religious items. Since that time Mr. Lane has been featured on “Catholic Answers Live”, Ave Maria Radio, Relevant Radio, Our Sunday Visitor, the National Catholic Reporter, Sports Review Magazine, as well as Eternal Word Television Network’s (EWTN) the “Journey Home” with Marcus Grodi and is the Co-Founder of Catholic Men for Christ Men’s Conference in St. Louis, Missouri which continues to draw thousands of men each year to hear the Powerful Message of the Gospel.”

richardlane

Mr. Lane and I are represented by the same booking agency, CMG Booking.  CMG Booking is the premier source for Catholic speakers.  To book Mr. Lane for your next event, click HERE.  If you would like to book me to speak at your next event, please click HERE.

Man up!