"It's not that we don't have enough scoundrels to curse; it's that we don't have enough good men to curse them," writes Chesterton. I asked myself: Where are all the good men? Were they nestled safely home writing pop ballads for their Christian rock band? Were they trapped at work paying off credit card debt from a Las Vegas weekend, or perched in front of the television watching Monday Night Football? The good men, I figured, lay in everyday shadows, guerrilla warriors in combat with themselves and the devil, perpetually determined to reclaim supremacy through an uncomfortable, daily martyrdom. I headed to the door to do battle under the tattered banner of a Christian. My days as a hunter were ending as I set out to defend the hunted.
|Excellent read for all Catholic men.|
Yesterday, I went to a Catholic Men's Conference in Richmond, VA. Of all the moments of manliness that included Mass and Eucharistic adoration with the 150+ guys in the conference room, a moment that struck me was a breakout session on Men's Spirituality where it seemed at least half the guys in the conference were huddled in our small room behind a closed door discussing the epidemic of lost men. One man, from Newport spoke up how he feels alone in the battle of virtue, but doesn't know where to find other men in his area. Later the facilitator asked if there were any other men from Newport to raise their hands. Five hands rose, and these men looked at each other, potentially finding brotherhood that everyone in the room seemed to be hungry for.
Tonight at Mass, I had a constant dialogue throughout the entire liturgy battling with a question in my head: does anything I do matter? Will it matter if I get this book off the ground? Will it matter if I follow up with e-mails this week? Will it matter if I keep praying and going to Mass this week?
As if to confirm the yes I received after communion, it clicked in me to find out that the man sitting next to me, who introduced himself as a St. Joseph grad at the beginning of Mass, was someone I actually met before. The last and only time I was on that campus was when I was recruiting with Catholic Volunteer Network, and I remember talking and guiding this man with options about service. I asked if he ended up doing a year, and he said yes, through Cap Corps. God is good.
Through prayer at the Men's Conference and through reflection of the past couple of weeks, I've decided to do two things this week that I've been wanting to do.
1. I'm going to go to attend daily adoration that takes place before Mass at a local parish and
2. I'm going to lift up my work each day on behalf for a specific person. I've decided that tomorrow, Monday, will be my day for a man name James that I met at the conference. He has a great story to tell, including overcoming pornography for more than a year now.
This is my way of going to battle this week. I know where the good men are. I met a good number of them this weekend and have been talking to dozens these past several weeks. This book project is about getting to show to rest of the world they exist as much as I know they exist. I do this out of gratitude for being able to find the men in my life who help make me the man I am today. Men need men. And I will die and fight for this awakening, and for the sake of another.