Added: Mckinsey Fisk - Date: 01.02.2022 01:39 - Views: 28073 - Clicks: 7256
I begin this letter with a clarion call and clear charge to you, my sons and brothers in Christ: Men, do not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you , the battle that is wounding our children and families, the battle that is distorting the dignity of both women and men. This battle is often hidden, but the battle is real.
It is primarily spiritual, but it is progressively killing the remaining Christian ethos in our society and culture, and even in our own homes. The world is under attack by Satan, as our Lord said it would be 1 Peter This battle is occurring in the Church herself, and the devastation is all too evident.
While the Diocese of Phoenix has fared better than these national statistics, the losses are staggering. The growing losses of young Catholic men will have a devastating impact on the Church in America in the coming decades, as older men pass away and young men fail to remain and marry in the Church, accelerating the losses that have already occurred. These facts are devastating. As our fathers, brothers, uncles, sons, and friends fall away from the Church, they fall deeper and deeper into sin, breaking their bonds with God and leaving them vulnerable to the fires of Hell.
This crisis is evident in the discouragement and disengagement of Catholic men like you and me. In fact, this is precisely why I believe this Exhortation is needed, and it is also the reason for my hope, for God constantly overcomes evil with good. The joy of the Gospel is stronger than the sadness wrought by sin! A throw-away culture cannot withstand the new life and light that constantly radiates from Christ.
So I call upon you to open your minds and hearts to Him, the Savior who strengthens you to step into the breach! I offer this Exhortation as an encouragement , a challenge , and a calling forth to mission for every willing man in the Diocese of Phoenix: priests and deacons, husbands, fathers and sons, grandfathers and widowers, young men in preparation for your vocation — that is, each and every man. With this Exhortation, I want to clarify for you the nature of this mission from Christ, for which I will rely on the clear guidance of the Holy Scriptures, the Magisterium of the Church, and the example of the saints.
In this Exhortation, I will address three primary questions :. Before addressing these three basic questions, it is important to put them into proper context. In the following section, I will explain three important contexts that help us understand the main questions. First, a new apostolic moment is upon us at this time in the history of the Church. And what is new? The newness of our times is this: in the West, we find ourselves in the midst of competing cultures, particularly in cities and neighborhoods where the Gospel once permeated quite deeply.
This permeation of Western culture was once so deep that in a sense, it became part of the soil, and we still stand on that soil in certain ways. All this is our patrimony and inheritance from our spiritual ancestors. We find ourselves standing on this rich soil, where blessings are many because the Gospel has been taught here, received in faith, and put into practice.
Yet, at the same time, termites are hard at work in this soil. Here, in the developed desert of Arizona, we know termites well. Homebuilders know that no home built in our climate is entirely immune from these hungry, subterranean insects. Likewise, no culture — deeply Christian though it may be — is immune to the corruption of half-truths and hidden sin. Many fruits of our Christian heritage still exist, but the roots below the soil are under siege. Much about our culture remains good and must be preserved, but it would be foolish to ignore the current and growing trends that threaten the remaining good, and dangerous to risk squandering the patrimony with which we have been blessed.
The answer and only ultimate solution is the New Evangelization of which we speak. Pope St. This is daunting, perhaps, but surely an adventure. Could this possibly be true? The answer is a resounding Yes! A true Catholic man stakes his whole life on this proposition — that all is made new in Jesus Christ. Our Lord has promised that He is and will always be with us. Thus, Catholic men across the centuries have responded to the call to enter the battle, ever ancient and ever new, and I have confidence that you will respond alike to fill the breach in our time. Be confident!
Be bold! Forward, into the breach! The Church is also the powerful source of Truth to heal men and prepare them to battle another day for Christ. Here in Phoenix as elsewhere, the Church is finding — though must redouble its efforts to find — the paths to healing for ourselves and the means to care for others who, like us, bear the mark of the Fall in debilitating ways, whether these wounds be physical or spiritual addiction to pornography, alcohol, drugs, food, broken marriages, fatherlessness, and troubled family life. You have to heal the wounds. This le you, men, to live lives where sins do not cause festering wounds.
Ever since Jesus chose the Twelve Apostles, formed them in his presence, and sent them out in his Name, He has continued to choose and form men through his Church and to send them out to the wounded. This is the meaning of the word apostle — men who are sent. That is why this letter is an apostolic exhortation. The complementarity of masculinity and femininity is key to understanding how human persons image God.
Men and women are certainly different. Science increasingly deepens our understanding of this difference. Up until recently, we had little idea of the complex workings of hormones, chemical reactions, and the brain differences present in boys and girls, men and women, all in response to the presence of the XX or XY combination of chromosomes present at conception. For example, the ificantly greater amount of corpus callosum the connective nerve fibers between the two sides of the brain in the average woman is a fascinating discovery, as is the way the male brain is typically more segmented in its functions.
This difference is also a challenge, since misunderstanding can creep in and sin can cause us to lose respect for one another, robbing us of our hope for peaceful and fruitful collaboration between men and women. Pope Francis puts it this way:. Man and woman are the image and likeness of God.
This tells us that not only is man taken in himself the image of God, not only is woman taken in herself the image of God, but also man and woman, as a couple, are the image of God. The difference between man and woman is not for opposition, or for subordination, but for communion and procreation, always in the image and likeness of God. This ideology is destructive for individuals and society, and it is a lie.
It is harmful to the human person, and therefore, a false concept that we must oppose as Christians. At the same time, however, we are called to show compassion and provide help for those who experience confusion about their sexual identity.
I ask myself, if the so-called gender theory is not… an expression of frustration and reation, which seeks to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it. Yes, we risk taking a step backwards. The removal of difference in fact creates a problem, not a solution. In order to resolve the problems in their relationships, men and women need to speak to one another more, listen to each other more, get to know one another better, love one another more. They must treat each other with respect and cooperate in friendship. Having now established the contexts in which to understand the questions addressed in this Exhortation, I will now respond to the above-stated questions themselves.
Every man, particularly today, must come to a mature acceptance and understanding of what it means to be a man. This may seem obvious, but in our world, there are many distorted images and much evidence of confusion regarding what is true masculinity.
We can say that for the first time in history, people have become either so confused or so arrogant as to attempt to dictate their masculinity or femininity according to their own definitions. Every moment of his life on earth is a revelation of the mystery of what it means to be man — that is, to be fully human and also, the model of masculinity. Nowhere else can we find the fullness of masculinity as we do in the Son of God. Only in Jesus Christ can we find the highest display of masculine virtue and strength that we need in our personal lives and in society itself. The Father sent his Son to reveal what it means to be a man, and the fullness of this revelation becomes evident on the Cross.
He tells us that it was for this reason that He came into the world, that it is his earnest desire to give himself totally to us. No athlete, no matter how many awards; no political leader, no matter the power he wields; no performer, business man, or celebrity, no matter how much adored; no physical attribute or muscle mass; no intelligence or talent; no prizes or achievements can bestow masculinity on a man.
My Catholic sons and brothers, we can only build a certain foundation for masculinity on the rock, Jesus Christ. We look to our Savior to be transformed in Him, to be the men we are called to be, and to let others see Him in us. Yet we do not merely look to Jesus. We truly encounter Christ at Mass when we receive the very gift of Himself in the Eucharist. For this reason, I call upon my brother priests to awaken the sense of transcendence in the hearts of men through reverent and beautiful liturgy, helping men to rediscover Jesus in the Eucharist each and every Sunday.
I ask my brother priests to teach the faithful about the powerful truth of the liturgy, especially in ways to which men can relate. Teaching men to understand the fullness and power of the Mass must be a top priority. This is what our forefathers, the saints, have done for two millennia. As the Gospel reveals the reality of masculinity, we can also find it lived out in the heroic witness of the saints.
Saints are a kind of continuation of the Gospels and so give us examples of the varied paths of holiness. Thus, as Jesus shows us the perfection of masculinity, so we can also find it lived by the saints who were led by Christ. Just as an aspiring baseball player is inspired at the Baseball Hall of Fame, so must we men look to those who have gone before us, to look to them for inspiration and encouragement in fighting the good fight.
Think of the varied skills and talents of baseball players. Young pitchers would dream of pitching like Cy Young and Randy Johnson. As they see each of these players play the game in different ways, they are inspired to a love of baseball. Yet far greater than a ball game is what Catholic men seek. We look to the saints as to heroes, striving to live like Christ, united to Him and learning from Him at the same time. Each man should make a decision to have a patron Saint. While there are many more, I offer the names of ten saints with whom each and every Catholic man should become familiar.
We witnessed St. Men, we must never believe that holiness and courage are things of the past! You and I are called to a holiness that shows Christ to the world as our forefathers have done countless times throughout history, following the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Will the Lord not continue to inspire men? Of course He will, and He continues to do so!
Our concern is not if the Lord will give us the required strength, but how He is doing so right now. How is His Spirit moving us to rise up and reject passivity in a culture of fatherlessness? How is He now giving us interior strength in a culture of pornography? How is He now inspiring us to look beyond ourselves and our technology to the peripheries where Christ is needed?
How is the Lord inspiring you and me, right now, to cast aside concerns for our own comfort, to serve our fellow man, to put out into the deep, to step into the breach? I strongly encourage your familiarity with the lives of the saints. Just as a young baseball player would lack much having never studied the greats enshrined in Cooperstown, so we lack much if we are ignorant of the saints who have preceded us to the infinitely more glorious Halls of Heaven.
I wish now to speak to you about our identity in Christ. Most of the holy men I mentioned above lived in times quite different than our own. They had different challenges and different callings, but all had one thing in common: Jesus Christ, who gave them their true identity!Handsome man seeks a woman who speaks Phoenix
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