Marital Advice from The Catholic Gentlemen

Pride will destroy everything you have and everything that you want out of life. It will even end up destroying your soul. Please read this great article by the Catholic Gentlemen on the best way to check your pride and save your marriage and all your relationships.

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http://www.catholicgentleman.net/2015/05/three-words-that-can-save-your-marriage/

Three Words That Can Save Your Marriage

Sam Guzman

Guys hate asking for directions. You know the stereotype: The family is on vacation, and they are hopelessly lost in an unfamiliar place. Dad is behind the wheel and he’s convinced he can find his way. The wife helpfully suggest stopping to ask a local for directions, but the husband snaps back that he is perfectly capable of navigating and he doesn’t need any help. And on it goes.

Now, where did this stereotype come from? Is this really about men’s desire to be good navigators? Of course not. The real problem is that we men hate to admit we were wrong. 

What man wants to admit that he took the wrong exit? What man wants to admit his wife was right when she said turn right and not left? What man wants to admit he didn’t know what he was doing? I sure don’t!

Yes, admitting we were wrong is one of the hardest things for us men to do. The reason is simple: We all enter this world with defective and abnormally large egos. Without proper treatment, these egos manifest themselves in all manner of severe symptoms: Anger, impatience, unkindness, irritability, stubbornness, resentment, inconsiderateness, envy, etc. And guess what? All of those sins can place a great strain on our marriages.

You see, pride is the enemy of healthy relationships. It is the root sin behind a host of other toxic sins, all of which hurt those who are closest to us, especially our wives. Is your marriage struggling? It probably has something to do with pride. Believe me, unchecked pride can destroy a marriage faster than anything else. It is a disease that rots away the bonds of sacrificial, self-giving love that every marriage should be founded upon.

But not to worry, the Great Physician has a prescription for the deadly disease of pride, namely the three powerful but painful little words I referenced in the title of this post. What are they? “I am sorry.”

It really is so simple. Were you a jackass, were you a jerk? Did you really mess up? Apologize, and mean it!

Yet, truth be told, few things are quite so difficult for us men to do. Apologizing hurts—it deflates those enlarged egos I mentioned. It makes us feel small. It’s more than a bit humiliating. But what of it? Get over it. If you don’t learn to admit your faults and apologize for them, your marriage is going to suffer. Resentment will set in, anger will mount, hurts will fester. Before you know it, the smallest disagreements will become fodder for angry shouting matches.

Here’s the thing, as men, no matter how far we advance in holiness, we can never expect not to sin. We are going to hurt our wives with our words and actions. We are going to get angry and say things we regret. We are going to be knuckleheads. It’s inevitable. The question is, when it happens, what are we going to do about it?

I learned early on in my own marriage the power of asking for forgiveness. I have lost count of the times I have been selfish and insensitive toward my wife. Yet, as soon as I become aware of a sin I have committed toward her, I strive to apologize for it and make it right as soon as possible. The beautiful thing is, my wife always rushes to forgive me, and often, she apologizes for her own sins if she is at fault. Does it hurt to apologize? Yes, every single time. But it has kept our marriage healthy and happy.

You see, healthy relationships on this side of heaven are not about never sinning. Rather, they are about learning to repent and forgive seventy times seven. We are in a school of love, and our Lord wants to teach us to love like he does, all the way to the cross. Men, if you want a happy marriage, learn to say I’m sorry from the heart. Do it as many times as it takes (it will be thousands). You’ll be amazed at the results.

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The World’s Greatest Need is Great Men – Bishop Sheen

Everyday we hear people, especially young people, lament about what career they will go into.  They talk about colleges and degrees and student loans.  These conversations are a sign of bad things.  When our society focuses more on secular degrees, and what they can do in this world, rather than how they can serve God, society is lost.  We seem to be almost there.

The world has enough doctors and lawyer and bankers.  The world does not have enough living saints.  What the world needs are more good men; Good holy Catholic men that will live their faith as a witness for those around them and for their families.  This is the bedrock upon which a good society is built and, most importantly, how people get to spend eternity with their creator.

The quote below from Bishop Sheen says it perfectly.

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http://www.catholicgentleman.net/2015/04/the-worlds-greatest-need-men-of-greatness/

The World’s Greatest Need: Men of Greatness

29 April 2015

There is a famine abroad on the earth, a famine not of bread, for we have had too much of that and our luxury has made us forget God; a famine not of gold, for the glitter of so much of that has blinded us to the meaning of the twinkle of the stars; but a famine of a more serious kind, and one which threatens nearly every country in the world – the famine of really great men. In other words, the world today is suffering from a terrible nemesis of mediocrity. We are dying of ordinariness; we are perishing from our pettiness.

The world’s greatest need is great men, someone who will understand that there is no greater conquest than victory over oneself; someone who will realize that the real worth is achieved, not so much by activity, as by silence; someone who will seek the Kingdom of God and His justice, and put into actual practice the law that it is only by dying to the life of the body that we ever live to the life of the spirit; someone who will brave the taunts of a Good Friday to win the joy of Easter Sunday; who will, like a lightning-flash, burn away the bonds of feeble interests which tie down our energies to the world; who, with a fearless voice, like John the Baptist, will arouse our enfeebled nature out of the sleek dream of unheroic repose; who will gain victories, not by stepping down from the Cross and compromising with the world, but who will suffer in order to conquer the world.

In a word, what we need are saints, for saints are the truly great men. … I assume without further ado that the grace of God is the one thing necessary, and that God will give that grace to those who do His will.

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, The World’s Greatest Need (Address delivered January 31, 1932)

Let us Serve the Lord at all Costs

If there is one thing we need in the world today to fight against the onslaught of modernist evil is bold and brave courage. We need all Catholics to stand up and yell: “enough evil” in the face of all evil. Let us hope against all hope.  Let us also pray for our priests and bishops to stand up against the society so the Church is restored to its rightful place of being the guardian of souls for the entire world.

The blog post from Sam Guzman of the Catholic Gentlemen highlights how being brave and courageous is simply following the lead of our dear Lord.  What is there to worry about when God is on our side?  Nothing!

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http://www.catholicgentleman.net/2015/03/fearless-the-holy-boldness-of-jesus-and-the-saints/
Fearless: The Holy Boldness of Jesus and the Saints

March 13, 2015

“I do not care very much what men say of me, provided that God approves of me.” – St. Thomas More

“Be brave! Do not be led by what others think or say.” – St. John Bosco

“You snakes! You brood of vipers!” Jesus thundered, “You whitewashed tombs!”

His followers were aghast. Didn’t Jesus realize who he was speaking to? These were the scribes and Pharisees! They were learned and powerful, and they claimed the authority of Moses. And yet, here Jesus was excoriating them like common criminals! They had never seen him this angry. He was normally so patient and kind. What was going on?

But Jesus didn’t stop there. “How will you escape being damned to hell? You hypocrites, you blind men. Woe to you!”

The Boldness of Jesus

Does the angry Jesus startle you? Very often, Christians tend to focus on the meek and gentle Jesus, the Jesus with a kind smile and children in his lap. This isn’t wrong of course, for Jesus was humble and kind—he said so himself (Matt. 11:29). The meekness of Christ is a beautiful reality that we should imitate. But we cannot forget that the same Jesus also stood toe to toe with the most powerful men of his day, rebuking them with prophetic zeal, harsh words, and fire in his eyes. If we ignore this holy boldness of Christ, we will be left with a caricature, a Jesus of our own making.

Yes, Jesus was fearless, and his enemies knew it. He never adjusted his message to make it more palatable to his audience. In fact, Jesus preferred to let hundreds, even thousands of people abandon him rather than change or soften his message one little bit (see John 6). Popular opinion simply didn’t matter to him.

Jesus’ enemies admitted his fearlessness, ironically when they came to tempt him. “Master,” they said cringingly, “we know that thou art direct in thy talk and thy teaching; thou makest no distinction between man and man, but teachest the way of God in all sincerity.” (Luke 20:21). “Direct in thy teaching.” “No distinction between man and man.” In other words, Jesus didn’t care if you were a humble farmer or Caesar himself, he was going to speak the truth without compromise, regardless of the consequences. I can almost imagine them uttering these words with a tone of wonder and grudging respect, as if to say, “We are cowards and fear the verdict of men, but we know you are quite different.”

The Will of God

Jesus had no fear, and his courage was born from one thing: His complete submission to the will of his Father. “My meat is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish the task he gave me,” he explained to his disciples, who puzzled over the source of his seemingly endless energy. Obedience to the will of God consumed Jesus. It was his passion, the source of his zeal and his joy, the driving force behind everything he did. Accomplishing the will of his Father was more necessary to his existence than eating and drinking.

Jesus knew that pleasing his Father was the only thing that mattered. If his Father was pleased, he really didn’t care what men thought of him. The great saints, those men and women of faith who were most like Christ, also exhibited this holy courage. They were unafraid to confront kings, popes, and bishops if it was required, and they chose rather to suffer persecution or martyrdom than keep silent.

Of course, these saints were also humble and obedient. There was no spirit of rebellion or proud self-will in them. If they were told by legitimate authority to keep silent, they would obey—not out of fear but out of submission to the will of God expressed through their superiors. Humble obedience and fearlessness are seemingly contradictory to us, but the saints exhibited both, and so should we.

Martyrdom

Why do I bring this topic up? If we look at the modern world, we see nothing but hostility toward the Faith. In the Middle East, Christians are being martyred in the most brutal way. Every day brings a new threat. Persecution is open and the choice is clear: Serve Christ or die. To live and embrace the Faith in such circumstances requires a great deal of holy fearlessness.

But in the “civilized” West, persecution is no less present, albeit in a different and more subtle form. We are asked by the powers that be to acquiesce, to compromise on the most fundamental moral issues that exist—things like the nature of marriage, the protection of innocent human life in the womb, and the nature and purpose of human sexuality. Our suffering may in the form of an angry boss, the loss of a business, or simply persecution with words. While no one is holding a knife to our throat, the choice is just as clear: Serve Christ or suffer.

Tragically, there are many bishops and prelates who are Pharisees—who fear the opinion of men more than they fear God. There are many in the hierarchy who would rather make peace with the world and its evil ideologies than suffer with Jesus in obedience to the will of God. As St. Paul said, “I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, [they] live as enemies of the cross of Christ” (Phil. 3:18).

These men will have their reward, but as for us, let us serve Christ. Let us choose always to obey God rather than men, no matter what the cost. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit for the holy boldness that he gave on the day of Pentecost to the once cowardly St. Peter. Let us strive after the courage of men like St. Thomas More, St. John Fisher, an St. Edmund Campion, who joyfully chose martyrdom rather than deny the truths of the Faith. Most of all, let us take up our crosses and follow Christ, who said, “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” May the will of God be done. 

Another Reason to Love Holy Mother Church

The Church has it all figured out.  It is really really sad that there are so many people in the Church that want to abandon the incredible tradition it has preserved throughout the centuries.  The Church is our true home on earth, it is our harbor in the storm, it is our path to salvation.  Thank God Jesus left the Church for us miserable sinners.

Below is a great article from The Catholic Gentlemen blog about how the Church has organized Time for us.

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http://www.catholicgentleman.net/2015/02/sanctifying-time-the-catholic-meaning-of-days-and-months/

Sanctifying Time: The Catholic Meaning of Days and Months

Before I was Catholic, there were three significant days in my week: Monday was the much dreaded day school or work began; Wednesday was the hopeful hump day when most of the week was over; and Friday was the glorious final day of the week that ushered us into the weekend.

Since becoming, Catholic, however, I have gained a new appreciation for the sacredness of time. The liturgical cycle gives shape and meaning to the year, and each season brings new significance. But the liturgical year is just the beginning. Did you know Mother Church has also assigned meaning to each day and month of the year? It’s true. Let’s briefly examine the significance of each day and month.

Catholic Time

Holy Days

Sunday: The Holy Trinity – Sunday is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. This is entirely fitting as Sunday is the first day of the week and the day when we offer God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit our praise, adoration, and thanksgiving.

Monday: The Angels – Monday is the day in which we remember the angels. Angels are powerful guardians, and each of us is protected by one. Many of the saints had a great devotion to the angels in general and to their guardian angel in particular.

Tuesday: The Apostles – The Catholic Church is apostolic. That is, it is founded on the authority and teaching of the apostles, most especially that of St. Peter to whom Jesus gave the keys of his kingdom. Each bishop is a direct successor of the apostles.

Wednesday: Saint Joseph – Saint Joseph is known as the prince and chief patron of the Church. As the earthly father of Jesus, he had a special role in protecting, providing for, and instructing Jesus during his earthly life. Now that Christ is ascended into heaven, St. Joseph continues his fatherly guardianship of Christ’s body, the Church.

Thursday: The Holy Eucharist – Our Lord instituted the most holy Eucharist on a Thursday, so it is fitting that we remember this greatest of sacraments on this day. The Eucharist is the greatest gift of God to mankind, as it is nothing less than Jesus himself. What gift could be greater?

Friday: The Passion – Jesus was scourged, mocked, and crucified on a Friday. Because of this, the Church has always set aside Fridays of days of penance and sacrifice. While the U.S. sadly does not require abstinence from meat on Fridays, penance is still required in one form or another. This day should always be a day of repentance and a day in which we recall Christ’s complete self-sacrifice to save us from our sins.

Saturday: Our Lady – There are a number of theological reasons Saturdays are dedicated to Our Lady, perhaps the most significant is that on Holy Saturday, when everyone else had abandoned Christ in the tomb, she was faithful to him, confidently waiting for his resurrection on the first day of the week.

Holy Months

January: The Holy Name of Jesus – There is no name more powerful than the name of Jesus. The Catechism sums up the power of this name beautifully: “The name ‘Jesus’ contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation. To pray ‘Jesus’ is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies. Jesus is the Risen One, and whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God who loved him and who gave himself up for him” (CCC #2666)

February: The Holy Family – The Holy Family is an earthly reflection of the Holy Trinity. By meditating on the Holy Family, we can learn the meaning of love, obedience, and true fatherhood and motherhood. We are also reminded that the family is the foundational unit of both society and the Church.

March: St. Joseph – St. Joseph is the icon of God the Father: silent but active and perfectly providing for the needs of all. The Church constantly invokes the protection of St. Joseph, admonishing us to ite ad Joseph, go to Joseph.

April: The Blessed Sacrament – Holy Church is the guardian of the Holy Eucharist. For two thousand years, she has guarded this treasure, administering it to the faithful and proclaiming that it is nothing less than Jesus himself. We can never be too devoted to the Blessed Sacrament or show it too much honor.

May: The Blessed Virgin Mary – Our Lady has long been associated with the beauty of flowers and the coming of spring. This is fitting because she is both beautiful and the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the life of the world. In May, the Church remembers our glorious lady with crownings and processions in her honor.

June: The Sacred Heart of Jesus – The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the revelation of God’s immense love for us. It is often depicted as a fiery furnace, pierced and broken, but beating with love. The Sacred Heart is also a profound reminder of the humanity of our Lord, for his heart is not a mere symbol, but a true physical reality.

July: The Precious Blood – The blood of Christ saves us from sin. It is the blood of Christ that gives us the hope of heaven. St. Paul tells us that Jesus reconciled “to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:20). Without the blood of Christ shed for us, all would be lost.

August: The Immaculate Heart of Mary – The heart of Mary is a motherly heart, a heart full of love and mercy for her children. The heart of Mary is also the channel through which all the graces of God flow down to us. She is “our life, our sweetness, and our hope.”

September: The Seven Sorrows of Mary – Aside from Jesus, no human being has suffered more than our Blessed Mother. In perfect obedience to the will of God, she consented to her sons torture, humiliation, and brutal executed for our salvation. As any parent knows, watching one’s child suffer is the greatest suffering of all. She still bears the sufferings of her divine Son in her heart.

October: The Holy Rosary – The rosary is one of the most powerful weapons the Church possesses. We are constantly exhorted by saints, popes, and Our Lord and Our Lady themselves to pray this simple yet profound prayer. Accordingly, Mother Church has set aside a whole month to the promotion of this prayer.

November: The Souls in Purgatory – The souls in purgatory are suffering a great deal, and they cannot pray for themselves. They are our brothers and sisters, and as members of the body of Christ, we must pray and offer sacrifices for those who have gone before us, asking that they may rest in the light of God’s presence.

December: The Immaculate Conception – The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a profound mystery. In the Immaculate Conception, Mary was perfectly united forever to her spouse, the Holy Spirit. Their fruitful union produced a wedding of heaven and earth in the God-Man, Jesus Christ. We will meditate on these truths for all eternity.

Time is a Gift

The Church takes seriously the call to sanctify all things, even time. The Catholic significance of days and months is a profound reminder that our lives are finite, and that time should not be squandered. As the Psalmist said, “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). But more than anything, it reminds us that time is a gift from God, and with him and through him, all things are holy, and nothing is without meaning.